Negotiations between the Falcons and cornerback Desmond Trufant picked up here on Saturday.
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn meet with Trufant’s agents Doug Hendrickson and C.J. Laboy sat together to around midnight at a popular steak restaurant.
Dimitroff has repeatedly been clear about Trufant being the team’s first offseason priority.
“Our next major move is going to be Desmond (Trufant),” Dimitroff told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday. “Once we get that done, we have the next tier of guys that we are going to get finalized. Then we’ll keep our eyes open in free agency.”
Trufant, 26, was selected in the first-round (22nd overall) of the 2013 draft. He started immediately as a rookie and was named to the Pro Bowl in his third season.
Last season, Trufant was having a fine campaign and was matching up with the opponent’s No. 1 receiver before suffering a season-ending torn pectoral injury after nine games.
The Falcons would like wrap up Trufant’s deal quickly because they can start talking to agents for unrestricted players on Tuesday and the league’s new business year starts on Thursday. When the Trufant deal is done, the Falcons will know how much they have to spend in free agency.
The market value for top cornerbacks is lucrative.
Last April, Washington signed Josh Norman to a five-year, $75 million deal with $36.5 million guaranteed, which is the highest-valued contract at the position.
Janoris Jenkins signed a five-year, $62.5 million deal with $28.8 guaranteed with the Giants in free agency last March.
Detroit signed cornerback Darius Slay to a five year, $51.33 million with a $14.5 million signing bonus in July.
The Falcons are also trying to resign safety Kemal Ishmael, tight end Levine Toilolo and fullback Patrick DiMarco.
They re-signed cornerback Robert Alford (four-year, $38 million) and right tackle Ryan Schraeder (five-year, $32million) to contract extensions during the season.
“We have a fortunate situation right now, where we are able to sign two corners because we have the young linebackers, young safeties and a young defensive end,” Dimitroff said. “In time, we’ll have to be creative with that, but for now we are in a good spot.”