You knew the Detroit Lions were going to be seeking cornerback health in this free agency, and on Wednesday evening, they finally pounced on their target. According to Jordan Schultz of ESPN, the Lions are signing former Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant to a two-year deal worth $21 million, including $14 million guaranteed.
It was announced a few days ago that the Falcons were releasing the veteran cornerback, saving them nearly $5 million in cap space.
Trufant, a former first-round pick, has played seven seasons in Atlanta, starting 97 games and picking up 13 interception along the way. In 2019 alone, he had four interceptions, despite his season being cut seven games short due to a broken forearm and a toe injury.
With pick 22 in the 2013 NFL Draft, the #Falcons selected Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 19, 2020
He posted an elite #RAS with good size, elite speed, great explosiveness, elite agility at the CB position.
Now a #Lions starting cornerback.https://t.co/r5qNum5ncd pic.twitter.com/XvhaYmw6vJ
Trufant is a former Pro Bowler (2015) and, oddly enough, had just gotten plenty of praise from his coaching staff for having a productive year despite the injuries.
“He came on last year and probably had one of his more productive seasons,” Falcons defensive coordinator Raheem Morris said just a couple of weeks ago. “Grabbing four picks … he had two in one game and two in another. He played well. We look forward to all of those guys coming back.”
With Trufant on board, all attention is now on Lions cornerback Darius Slay, who has been the subject of trade rumors ever since the 2019 trade deadline. Will the Lions now actively shop Slay or will Trufant be the No. 2 to Slay’s No. 1?
Adam Schefter is already speculating that this signing puts Slay on the market, but only time will tell.
UPDATE: Well, we know how Slay feels about it:
Congrats to my guy!!!! Hope that speeds up my trade process!! https://t.co/ZQHO3NCGuE— Darius Slay (@_bigplayslay23) March 19, 2020