The Falcons waited until the new collective bargaining agreement was passed to make their salary cap casualty cuts. The deal was ratified Sunday by the NFLPA.
The Falcons can spread their salary cap dead money over two seasons with a post-June 1 designation.
Trufant, who played just nine games last season after breaking his forearm, has the fourth-largest salary cap number ($15.1 million) on the team behind quarterback Matt Ryan ($24.1 million), wide receiver Julio Jones ($20.4 million) and left tackle Jake Matthews ($16 million). The Falcons receive $4.95 million in cap relief by cutting Trufant and giving him a post-June 1 designation.
When Trufant was injured last season, Blidi Wreh-Wilson started at left cornerback but he became an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday.
The Falcons were impressed with rookie cornerback Kendall Sheffield, who played in the slot. Second-year cornerback Isaiah Oliver had a bumpy year as a first-time starter at right cornerback while trying to replace Robert Alford.
Defensive coordinator Raheem Morris sang the praises of Trufant last week.
“He came on last year and probably had one of his more productive seasons,” Morris said. “Grabbing four picks ... he had two in one game and two in another. He played well.”
New secondary coach Joe Whitt Jr. also had nice things to say about Trufant.
“I thought he was having a good year, too,” Whitt said. “When I put on the film and started evaluating game 1, Tru did a good job of getting his hands on people early. Just like I was saying Isaiah wasn’t doing early in the year, but Tru was. Tru, I had him in the Pro Bowl a couple of years ago. He’s a great kid and ... has a lot of good football in front of him.”
Here’s a look at where things stand with the Falcons’ potential unrestricted and restricted free agents:
Kenjon Barner, running back<br/>Matt Schaub, quarterback – Club picked up his option, according to his agent.<br/>Justin Hardy, wide receiver - Will not re-sign with team<br/>Austin Hooper, tight end – Will be allowed to hit the market. Has agreed to terms with the Browns. <br/>Matt Simms, quarterback <br/>Keith Smith, fullback – Was re-signed to a three-year deal on Saturday, March 14<br/>Wes Schweitzer, offensive guard/center – Will be allowed to hit the market. Set to sign with Washington<br/>Ty Sambrailo, tackle - Released by the team on March 16<br/>Devonta Freeman - Cut by the team on March 17<br/>Luke Stocker, tight end - To be released pending a physical
Dante Fowler Jr, defensive end -- Agreed to deal with the Falcons
Vic Beasley, defensive end/linebacker – Will not be re-signed. Will join Titans on a one-year deal <br/>De'Vondre Campbell, linebacker – Will be allowed to hit the market <br/>Adrian Clayborn, defensive end <br/>Jack Crawford, defensive tackle<br/>Johnathan Cyprien, safety<br/>Tyeler Davison, defensive tackle - Agrees to three-year deal <br/>Ra'Shede Hageman, defensive tackle – Waived by the team on Jan. 13<br/>Kemal Ishmael, safety/linebacker – Will not be re-signed by Falcons <br/>Steven Means, defensive end - Re-signed to a one-year contract on March 9<br/>Sharrod Neasman, safety <br/>Jamar Taylor, cornerback <br/>John Wetzel, offensive lineman – Vested veteran contract terminated and then re-signed.<br/>J.J. Wilcox, safety <br/>Blidi Wreh-Wilson, cornerback<br/>Desmond Trufant - Released by team, will sign with Lions
Matt Bosher, punter <br/>Ryan Allen, punter – Signed to a one-year contract extension for $945,000 on Feb. 18<br/>Sam Irwin-Hill, punter – Signed to a one-year contract worth $510,000
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
Brian Hill, running back - Falcons place tender
Michael Bennett, defensive tackle
Younghoe Koo, placekicker – Signed a one-year contract extension for $660,000 on Feb. 18.
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