The Atlanta Falcons plan to release former Pro Bowl cornerback Desmond Trufant, according to NFL Media's Tom Pelissero. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media added that Atlanta had been looking to trade the veteran, but failed. Technically speaking, the Falcons still control Trufant's rights until the move becomes official so they could still trade him for a little compensation. The issue in finding a trade partner has likely been his contract.
In April of 2017, Trufant signed a five-year deal worth $68.75 million. He had three years remaining on that deal with a $15.15 million cap hit in 2019. The move will save Atlanta roughly $5 million.
Trufant, 29, is coming off a season in which he missed seven games. Despite his absence, he was able to accumulate 18 tackles, four interceptions and seven pass deflections. The Washington native had missed eight games total in the previous six seasons. Trufant, who has played in two career playoff games, has recorded 13 interceptions, five sacks, three forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries over the course of his career.
The new NFL league year will begin Mar. 18. The former No. 22 overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft will be a free agent whenever his release becomes official.
According to Spotrac.com, the Falcons had the second least salary cap space in the NFL with just a little over $700,000 coming into the day. Atlanta also reportedly agreed to terms on a new three-year deal with defensive tackle Tyeler Davison Sunday. Tight end Austin Hooper and linebacker De'Vonde Campbell are expected to hit free agency. The Falcons need to address their linebacker room as well as the secondary and offensive line this offseason.