Desmond Trufant

Contract Details: Smith, Amendola, Trufant

Here are the latest details on some of the notable contracts recently signed around the NFL:

  • Harrison Smith, S (Vikings): Four years, $64MM. The deal includes $14.2MM fully guaranteed, but Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com notes $26.4MM will be guaranteed by March 22 (Twitter link). Smith’s 2021 cap hit only comes in at $6.99MM. However, the veteran safety’s salary spikes from $2.95MM in 2022 to $14.7MM in 2023. His 2024 and ’25 base salaries ($14.45MM, $17MM) are not guaranteed.
  • Danny Amendola, WR (Texans): One year, $2.5MM. Deal includes a $1.25MM base salary and a $250K signing bonus, Sports Talk 790’s Aaron Wilson tweets. Amendola’s pact features $300K in per-game roster bonuses, with an additional $700K available through incentives.
  • Desmond Trufant, CB (Saints): One year, $1.075MM, Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.football tweets. Trufant’s deal qualifies for the minimum-salary benefit, putting his cap hit at just $850K.

Saints To Sign Desmond Trufant

The Saints are expected to sign cornerback Desmond Trufant, (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). The veteran impressed in his Monday workout and will join the club just in time for Week 1. 

Trufant missed the Bears’ final cut but also missed the last couple weeks of training camp due to a family situation. A first-round pick of the Falcons back in 2013, the Washington product became a quality starter in Atlanta. He was a full-time first-stringer for all seven of his Falcons seasons and made the Pro Bowl in 2015. He received a massive payday when the Falcons gave him a five-year, $68.5MM extension in April of 2017.

The terms of Trufant’s new deal are unknown, but he’s still going to collect $3.5MM from the Lions for this season. Meanwhile, the soon-to-be 31-year-old will look to fortify the Saints’ banged up secondary.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears Finalize Roster

The Bears reduced their roster to 53 players today, making the following moves:

Released

Released from IR

Waived

Waived/Injured

Bears Cut Desmond Trufant

The Bears are letting a big name go in their secondary. Chicago has released veteran cornerback Desmond Trufant, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Schefter notes that Trufant missed the last couple weeks of training camp to be with his family after the unfortunate passing of his father, although it’s not clear if that missed time played any role in the Bears’ decision. Schefter also writes that Trufant is still owed $3.5MM from the Lions for this season, and that he hopes to keep playing with another team.

A first-round pick of the Falcons back in 2013, the Washington product became a quality starter in Atlanta. He was always a full-time starter during his seven seasons with the Falcons, and made the Pro Bowl in 2015. He received a massive payday when the Falcons gave him a five-year, $68.5MM extension in April of 2017.

Cut after the 2019 season, he signed a two-year, $21MM pact with the Lions. Detroit released him back in March after he was limited to six games in 2020 due to injury, with the aforementioned significant guaranteed money still owed to him. Chicago scooped him up just a few days after his release, but he didn’t end up making the team.

It’s a surprising cut considering Trufant won’t turn 31 until next month. It probably won’t be long before he’s able to find a new home.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Rumors: Bears, Biadasz, Cowboys, Vikings

The Bears made Kyle Fuller a surprise cap casualty shortly after free agency’s outset, and while the team did sign Desmond Trufant, the former well-paid Falcon has struggled with injuries in each of the past two seasons. Chicago has resisted adding more help at the position, and Trufant may not have the inside track to start opposite Jaylon Johnson at outside cornerback. After a strong minicamp, Kindle Vildor may be ahead of Trufant on the track toward a starting job, Adam Jahns of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Although the 2020 fifth-round pick out of Georgia Southern only played 135 defensive snaps as a rookie, new DC Sean Desai mentioned him as an in-house solution to replace either Fuller or departed slot corner Buster Skrine. The Bears going with Vildor alongside Johnson will certainly represent an experience step back, with Fuller and Skrine having combined to play 17 seasons.

Here is the latest from the NFC:

  • On a similar note, the Cowboys appear set on a 2020 Day 3 pick taking over at center. Travis Frederick‘s retirement initially thrust Joe Looney into Dallas’ starting lineup, and after fourth-round pick Tyler Biadasz replaced an injured Looney early last season en route to four starts, the veteran reclaimed his job after a Biadasz pregame hamstring injury. Biadasz played just one offensive snap in Dallas’ final eight games, but Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News notes the Cowboys plan to use the Wisconsin product as their starter this season. Looney, 30, remains a free agent, while OC Kellen Moore has talked up Biadasz this offseason. Biadasz started three years at center for the Badgers, winning the Rimington Award — given to college football’s top center — in 2019.
  • Some additional details have surfaced on Sheldon Richardson‘s second Vikings contract. The well-traveled defensive tackle agreed to return to Minnesota on a one-year, $3.6MM deal. The Vikings included some incentives in the former Defensive Rookie of the Year’s contract as well. Richardson can collect $250K if he reaches five sacks this season, Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune tweets. If Richardson gets to seven sacks, a $500K bonus will await. The team included another $250K bonus if the 30-year-old D-tackle makes the Pro Bowl. Richardson has two five-plus-sack seasons (2014 and ’15) and one Pro Bowl on his resume.
  • The Saints have included an interesting incentive in Ryan Ramczyk‘s extension, but it only will benefit the All-Pro right tackle if he moves to the left side.

Bears To Sign Desmond Trufant

Cornerback Desmond Trufant has agreed to join the Bears on a one-year deal, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Terms of the deal are not yet known. 

Trufant will try to fill the Bears’ post-Kyle Fuller void, though he’s unlikely to match his production. Fuller left Chicago with passes defended (82), good for top-five in franchise history. He also ranked in the top-20 for tackles (390) and interceptions (19).

After his best seasons with the Falcons, Trufant was rewarded with a five-year, ~$69MM mega-contract. In 2019, the Falcons dropped him, even though he managed four interceptions in just nine games. Then, the Lions released Trufant earlier this month to escape the rest of his two-year, $21MM deal. The Lions saved $6MM but were left saddled with ~$6.2MM in dead money.

Injuries were the culprit once again — Trufant played in just six games for the Lions, tallying one interception, four passes defended, and 20 total tackles. The Bears, who clearly need help in the secondary, could give him a chance to restore his value.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions To Release Desmond Trufant

The Lions have informed Desmond Trufant that he will be released, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Trufant — who served as a starting cornerback for Detroit — will be officially dropped on the first day of the league year later this month. 

[RELATED: Lions, WR Tyrell Williams Agree To Deal]

Trufant compiled four interceptions and seven passes defensed in 2019, despite being limited to only nine games. Still, the Falcons released him midway through his five-year, ~$69MM mega-deal.

That led him to the Lions last March on a more reasonable two-year, $21MM deal. Still, his Lions contract included $14MM in guarantees. So, with his release, the Lions will save $6MM while being left with roughly $6.2MM in dead money, provided that he isn’t classified as a post-June 1 release.

Trufant’s short Lions tenure ended early, due to injury. He finished out 2020 with one interception, four passes defended, and 20 total stops in six games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Place Desmond Trufant, Danny Shelton On IR

The Lions have placed cornerback Desmond Trufant and defensive tackle Danny Shelton on injured reserve, per a club announcement. With the season winding down and the Lions out of the playoff picture, this could mark the end of their seasons.

The Lions picked up Trufant in March after he was released midway through his five-year, ~$69MM mega-deal with the Falcons. So far, he’s played in just six games under his more reasonable two-year, $21MM deal, which includes $14MM in guarantees. Last year, Trufant compiled four interceptions and seven passes defended despite being limited to only nine games. In 2020, he’s got one interception, four passes defended, and 20 total stops.

Shelton — who entered the league as the No. 12 pick in the 2015 draft — never lived up to his draft status, but he’s built a solid career as a run-stuffer. The 345-pound lineman played a key role with the Pats last year and found a home as the Lions starter this year. Unfortunately, after eleven starts, his season could be done thanks to a knee injury suffered against the Texans.

Down two defensive starters, the Lions will travel to Chicago this weekend to face the Bears.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets, Falcons, Rams, Bears To Gain Cap Room Via Post-June 1 Cuts

The Bears, Falcons, Jets, and Rams will gain additional cap space starting Tuesday, as Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter) notes. The extra flexibility comes from the following releases that have been designated as post-June 1 cuts: 

Players released after June 1 can have their remaining cap charge spread out across two seasons, rather than one. These four players were released earlier this year, but designated as post-June 1 cuts to smooth out the dead money.

For these teams, a chunk of this money will go towards funding the incoming rookie class. However, there will still be some room left over for summer upgrades, thanks to the top-51 rule. In the case of the Falcons, they’ll have about $8.25MM to spend, as Kevin Knight of The Falcoholic notes.

The additional space could jumpstart talks for June’s best remaining free agents, a group that includes defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, cornerback Logan Ryan, and guard Larry Warford. The Jets probably won’t go for Clowney, but they’ve shown serious interest in Ryan and Warford would make some sense for them if they want to upgrade over Brian Winters.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons To Gain ~$11MM Of Cap Room

The Falcons released longtime CB Desmond Trufant in March, and as D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes, Trufant was designated as a post-June 1 cut. As such, Atlanta will be able to spread out his dead money charge over the course of the 2020 and 2021 seasons and will gain $10.75MM of cap room when the calendar flips to June on Monday.

The club presently has just $252K of cap space, so the relief is much-needed. As Ledbetter observes, the Falcons will use a good chunk of their newfound space to bring their six-man draft class under contract (at the moment, the team has not signed any of its 2020 draftees). That will leave Atlanta with roughly $7MM of room thanks to the Rule of 51, and GM Thomas Dimitroff likes to keep about $2MM on hand throughout the course of the season in case of emergency.

So Dimitroff will have $5MM to play with should any of the remaining crop of veteran free agents appeal to him. There are a few potentially viable corners on the market, and Atlanta could stand to add an experienced player to complement the youth at that position. The Falcons selected CB A.J. Terrell in the first round of this year’s draft, and he is currently slated to line up opposite third-year pro Isaiah Oliver. Rising sophomore Kendall Sheffield had a solid rookie campaign in the slot and will likely reprise that role in 2020.

Players like Logan Ryan — if his price tag comes down — Trumaine Johnson, and Dre Kirkpatrick could be targets for Atlanta. A situational pass rusher like Clay Matthews may also be in the mix.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.