Desmond Trufant

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.

Contract Details: Lawson, Trufant, Shelton, Witten,

Kyler Fackrell (Giants), One year, $4.6MM, $3.5MM guaranteed, base salary 2020: $2.6MM, $2MM roster bonus, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN.

Antonio Hamilton (Chiefs), One year, $1.047MM, $887.5k guaranteed, $137.5k signing bonus; salary 2020: $910k ($750k guaranteed), according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Shaq Lawson (Dolphins), Three years, $30MM, $21MM guaranteed, $4MM signing bonus; salaries 2020: $6.4MM (fully guaranteed), 2021: $7.9MM (fully guaranteed), 2022: $8.9MM; $2.5MM fully guaranteed roster bonus in 2020, $100k workout bonus in 2020-2021, potential $2MM in annual incentives, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

John Miller (Panthers), One year, $4MM, $2MM guaranteed, $2MM signing bonus; salary 2020: $1.79MM; $160k in per-game roster bonuses, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Danny Shelton (Lions), Two years, $8MM, $4MM guaranteed, $2.5MM signing bonus; salaries 2020: $1.5MM (fully guaranteed), 2021: $4MM, according to Michael Rothstein of ESPN.

Desmond Trufant (Lions), Two years, $20MM, $14MM guaranteed, $5MM signing bonus; salaries 2020: $4.5MM (fully guaranteed), 2021: $9.5MM ($4.5MM guaranteed for injury at signing); $500k in annual per-game roster bonuses, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Jihad Ward (Ravens), One year, $1.047MM, $637.5k guaranteed, $137.5k signing bonus; salary 2020: $910,000 ($500,000 guaranteed), according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Jaylen Watkins (Texans), Two years, $3MM, $300k guaranteed, $300k guaranteed; salaries 2020: $1.1MM, 2021: $1.4MM; 200k first-game roster bonus in 2020, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Jason Witten (Raiders), One year, $4MM, $3.5MM guaranteed; salary 2020: $3.5MM (fully guaranteed); $500k in per-game roster bonuses, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com.

CB Rumors: Slay, Lions, Harris, Trufant

Speaking to WJR-AM in Detroit following his trade from the Lions to the Eagles, cornerback Darius Slay didn’t hold back on his substandard connection with Lions head coach Matt Patricia. Slay, who’d been in Detroit since 2013, said Patricia told him he shouldn’t have been working out with fellow corners like Richard Sherman and Aqib Talib because those players are “elite” while Slay is simply “good,” per Justin Rogers of the Detroit News (all Twitter links).

Slay also indicated his relationship with Patricia was “destroyed” in 2018, adding that he didn’t respect Patricia as a person. Clearly, the nature of Slay’s dissatisfaction played a large role in Detroit’s decision, but as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (video link), the Lions also had no interest in handing Slay another new deal after inking him to a four-year, $48MM extension in 2016. Philadelphia, meanwhile, gave Slay a three-year, $50MM pact after acquiring him.

Here’s more on the cornerback circuit:

  • Veteran cornerback Chris Harris says he turned down a three-year offer from the Raiders before inking a two-year, $20MM deal with the Chargers, tweets Mike Klis of 9News. Per Harris, he simply didn’t feel “comfortable” with the Raiders, and preferred to join a Chargers defense that already includes stalwarts like Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, Casey Hayward, and Derwin James. Harris, 30, also attracted interest from teams like the Saints, Jets, Eagles, and says he picked up “tons” of one-year offers before deciding on Los Angeles.
  • After losing Harris, the Broncos are looking into adding another cornerback, according to Troy Renck of Denver7 (Twitter link). Denver acquired A.J. Bouye from the Jaguars earlier this month to pair with incumbent Bryce Callahan, but the club could still use another defensive back, either via free agency or the draft. Jimmy Smith, Logan Ryan, Nickell Robey-Coleman, and Ronald Darby are among the top corners still remaining on the open market.
  • The Falcons officially designated cornerback Desmond Trufant as a post-June 1 release. That move will allow Atlanta to spread Trufant’s dead money out over both the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Trufant, of course, has already found a new home, landing a two-year, $21MM deal with the Lions.

Lions Sign CB Desmond Trufant

Desmond Trufant has found his new home. ESPN’s Jordan Schultz tweets that the free agent cornerback has signed with the Lions. It’s a two-year, $21MM deal, including $14MM in guaranteed money.

Last year, Trufant compiled four interceptions and seven passes defended despite being limited to only nine games. He missed the first quarter of the year with a toe injury and was forced to go on IR in December after suffering a broken forearm. He started 16 games as recently as 2018, when he finished with 66 tackles and 12 passes defended. He earned a Pro Bowl nod with Atlanta in 2015.

Despite having three years remaining on his five-year, $68.75MM deal, Atlanta moved on from the veteran earlier this week. By releasing Trufant, the Falcons saved $4.95MM against $10.2MM in dead money. We heard whispers that the Jets could be interested in Trufant, but the rumor mill had otherwise been quiet surrounding the 29-year-old.

With Trufant signed, ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes (on Twitter) that the Lions can shift focus to trading cornerback Darius Slay. In late February, Lions GM Bob Quinn explained that all scenarios are being considered when it comes to the cornerback.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

CB Rumors: Harris, Bills, Jones, Dolphins, Trufant, Jets

The latest on key cornerbacks from around the NFL:

  • The Jets remain zeroed in on James Bradberry, but they’re also in the hunt for a second free agent cornerback. That search could lead them to Desmond Trufant, Connor Hughes of The Athletic tweets. Trufant will be cut loose by at Atlanta this week.
  • The Dolphins are among the clubs that have discussed impending Dallas free agent Byron Jones, Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears. You can add Miami to the list of previously reported suitors for Jones, which includes the Jets, Raiders, and Eagles.
  • More from Anderson (via Twitter), who notes that the Bills are now in on veteran Chris Harris. They join the Cowboys, Bills, Jets, Raiders, and other clubs in search of the experienced secondary help that Harris would provide.

Falcons To Release Desmond Trufant

The Falcons will release cornerback Desmond Trufant this week, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). Trufant still had three years remaining on the five-year, $68.75MM extension he signed with Atlanta prior to the 2017 season.

Trufant had one of his strongest years, by some metrics, in 2019, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot with the Falcons. By releasing him, the Falcons will save $4.95MM against $10.2MM in dead money.

Trufant came away with four interceptions and seven passes defensed in an injury-shortened eight-game season. He missed the first quarter of the year with a toe injury and was forced to go on IR in December after suffering a broken forearm.

.Before all of that, Trufant logged at least 15 games in five of his first six seasons. He was also a star in the Falcons defense, including his 2015 Pro Bowl season. Releasing Trufant was far from an easy call, but the Falcons find themselves in a difficult cap situation this offseason and they’re desperate for relief anywhere they can find it.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons’ Desmond Trufant Done For The Year

The Falcons have been playing a bit better recently, but they’ll have to finish the year without one of their better players. Starting cornerback Desmond Trufant broke his forearm during their win over the Panthers Sunday and will miss the rest of the season, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Rapsheet added that Trufant will undergo surgery this week. Atlanta drafted Trufant in the first-round back in 2013, and he immediately became a starter. He’s always been a reliable option outside, and started at least 15 games in five of his first six seasons. This isn’t his first significant injury of the year, as he missed four games earlier this season with a toe injury. He’ll finish 2019 having had one of his strongest years statistically, racking up four interceptions and seven passes defended in only eight games.

A Pro Bowler back in 2015, Trufant still has three more years left on his contract. 2019 was the second year of a massive five-year, $68.75MM extension that he signed back in 2017. The Washington product will be back to be one of the anchors of Atlanta’s secondary in 2020. The Falcon’s defense was one of the worst in the league to start the year, but they’ve been getting better recently.

They’ve now gone 3-2 in their last five games, and are battling hard as Dan Quinn fights to save his job. Unfortunately, they’ll be without a key piece as they try to finish strong. Rookie fifth-round pick Jordan Miller, also from Washington, could get a crack at some playing time with Trufant on the shelf, tweets Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Sherman, Saints, 49ers, Falcons

No NFLer has come up in more trade rumors this month than Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, but it’s likely he’ll stay put, writes Tom Pelissero of USA Today. It would take something along the lines of a first- and third-round pick to acquire Sherman, and that price probably isn’t going to come down, Pelissero hears. Plus, even though Sherman requested a trade, the relationship between him and the Seahawks is hardly in shambles. Sherman is content to continue his career in Seattle, and the team would have no problem retaining the four-time Pro Bowler, per Pelissero.

More from the NFC:

  • Next season stands as the final year of Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro‘s rookie contract, meaning it could could be his last hurrah in New Orleans. However, he’d rather ink an extension with the Saints than test free agency next spring. “I want to play for the Saints. I love the team,” Vaccaro told Nick Underhill of The Advocate. “I love coach (Sean) Payton. Coach Payton is going to be here. We got a good young team. I think we’re a couple of pieces away from getting to back to where we were my rookie year. I don’t want to leave that. The grass isn’t always greener.” Vaccaro isn’t “pressing” for a deal, but he does expect the Saints to enter negotiations with him “after all the offseason stuff” is out of the way. The 27-year-old has been a strong contributor to the Saints’ defense since going 15th overall in the 2013 draft, though he is coming off a suspension-shortened season.
  • With Vaccaro’s future in New Orleans uncertain, the Saints had UConn safety Obi Melifonwu in for an official visit Monday, which Charlie Campbell of WalterFootball first reported (Twitter link). Melifonwu is the 45th-best prospect in this year’s draft class, opines Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com. The four-year starter “has a rare blend of size and speed for the position,” notes Jeremiah.
  • Cornerback Tramaine Brock was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence Thursday, and the 49ers released him Friday. Rookie head coach Kyle Shanahan addressed that decision Monday, saying (via Cam Inman of the Mercury News): “We spent the day trying to figure out all the information as much as you can. You never do get all of it, but there was enough there that we felt it was a decision we had to make and move on from (Brock).” The 49ers cut the eight-year veteran with a “failed physical” designation, according to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area (Twitter link).
  • Falcons corner Desmond Trufant will earn nearly half of the money in his five-year, $68.75MM extension by next March, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Trufant is due $33MM over the next 11 months, and he’ll average $14.75MM per annum during the first three years of the deal.

Falcons, Desmond Trufant Agree To Extension

Cornerback Desmond Trufant has agreed to an extension with the Falcons, reports Jordan Schultz of The Huffington Post (via Twitter). It’ll be a five-year deal worth $69MM, with nearly $42MM guaranteed.

Desmond Trufant (vertical)This news shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, as we heard exactly a month ago that the two sides were working towards a “lucrative contract extension.” At the time, it was suggested that a Trufant extension would fall just below the five-year, $75MM contract that Josh Norman received from the Redskins last year, and that appears to be the case.

The 2013 first-round pick has been a consistent force in the Falcons secondary over the past four seasons. Trufant started all 48 games through his first three campaigns, and his 2015 performance earned him a Pro Bowl birth. A torn pectoral muscle sidelined Trufant for six games this past season, but the cornerback still managed to finish the year with 31 tackles, two sacks, one interception, and two forced fumbles. When he went down with the injury, Pro Football Focus had Trufant ranked as the 32nd-best cornerback in the NFL out of 119 qualified players.

Cornerback could arguably be the Falcons deepest position. Trufant will be joining a depth chart that features Robert AlfordJalen CollinsBrian PooleDeji OlatoyeC.J. Goodwin, and Blidi Wreh-Wilson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.