Negotiations between the Falcons and top cornerback Desmond Trufant are “heating up,” according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff said last week that locking up Trufant was going to be the club’s next major move, and it appears as if he is making good on his word.
Trufant, the 22nd-overall pick of the 2013 draft, quickly established himself as the Falcons’ best cover corner and was named to his first Pro Bowl in 2015. He picked up right where he left off in 2016, but he suffered a torn pectoral in Week 9 and missed the rest of the season, which was a major blow to a pass defense that struggled even with Trufant in the lineup. At the time of the injury, Trufant ranked as the 32nd-best corner in the NFL out of 119 qualified players, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics, and he had picked up an interception and two sacks. For his career, he has seven interceptions and three sacks.
He had also been highly durable before the injury, having started every game from Week 1 of his rookie season to Week 9 of 2016 (a total of 57 contests). He is already under contract for 2017, as the Falcons picked up his fifth-year option, but the team obviously wants to keep him in Atlanta for the foreseeable future.
Of course, Trufant will not come cheap. The market for top cornerbacks seems to increase dramatically with each passing year, and Trufant can use recent deals for Darius Slay (five years, $51.33MM) and Janoris Jenkins (five years, $62.5MM) as benchmarks.
Per Ledbetter, Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn met with Trufant’s agents until midnight last night. The club is also trying to resign safety Kemal Ishmael, tight end Levine Toilolo, and fullback Patrick DiMarco.
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