Former All-Pro cornerback Desmond Trufant has agreed to a two-year $21 million deal with the Detroit Lions. He was released by the Atlanta Falcons earlier in the week. Trufant still had three years on his Falcons contract with $35.25 million remaining. With his release, Atlanta managed to save $4.95 million in the salary cap.
He was released because he consistently struggled with injuries during his final season with the Falcons. He was drafted by Atlanta in 2013, and he managed to be named to the All-Pro team in 2015. Trufant was a highly-rated cornerback in the league and he deserved the praise. He helped lead the Falcons to a Super Bowl-berth in 2016, where they fell to Tom Brady’s New England Patriots.
In his seven seasons with the Falcons, Trufant started 97 games and managed to record 329 tackles, 13 interceptions, seven fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and two defensive touchdowns.
It is an interesting move for the Lions because he might be tapped as the replacement for Darius Slay. Slay was heavily involved in trade rumours ever since October of 2019. If they had decided to keep both Slay and Trufant, they will have made a formidable cornerback duo. Slay is a three-time Pro Bowler.
Slay has addressed Trufant’s arrival to the team. He jokingly said, ‘Congrats to my guy! Hope that speeds up my trade process!’.
It did speed up his trade process because Slay was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for two draft picks. He then signed a three-year $50 million extension with Philadelphia immediately after the trade.
Slay had some choice words for his head coach Matt Patricia. Slay said, ‘Of course I wanted to stay for a minute, but I already knew how me and Matt Patricia is, that wasn’t going to last long. He told me I had no business working out with Richard Sherman and Talib because I wasn’t elite. Those were the guys that were elite category and I was just good. That’s the whole point, I didn’t get the thought, sitting here telling me not to go work with somebody, I’m not elite. If I ain’t elite in your eyes, at least I’m trying to go compete with guys and work with guys, pick their brains and become elite’.
Trufant will definitely bolster the defensive schemes of coach Patricia. The Lions’ defence has been constantly changing in the past year. They have already had two defensive captain removals with Devon Kennard and Quandre Diggs having their respective chances at the forefront of the Lions defence.
This revamped defence program has been the Lions’ focus this offseason. Trufant joins Duron Harmon, Danny Shelton, Jamie Collins and Nick Williams as the new players in the defensive end of Detroit.
Trufant is only 29 years old and still has the potential to bounce back from the injuries that he sustained last year.