Report: Desmond Trufant, Falcons talks heating up

The Atlanta Falcons have been clear that signing corner to a long-term contract is an offseason priority.

Over the weekend during the Scouting Combine, progress seems to have taken place. D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that negotiations picked up as Trufant’s agents and the Falcons’ brass met a popular steak restaurant in Indianapolis.

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has been blunt about the need to retain one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL for the long-term.

“Our next major move is going to be Desmond,” Dimitroff told the AJC last week. “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.”

The 22nd pick in 2013, Trufant enters 2017 on the fifth-year of his rookie contract, set to earn $8.026 million.

Recent cornerback contracts indicate the speedy Trufant will be in line for a big payday. Last year Josh Norman signed a five-year, $75 million contract with $36.5 million guaranteed. Janoris Jenkins earned five years for $62.5 million with $28.8 million guaranteed. And Darius Slay signed for five years, $48 million with $23.1 million guaranteed.

Atlanta even gave second corner Robert Alford a four-year contract worth $38 million with $12 million guaranteed. If Alford, who has had an up-and-down career, is earning top-15 CB pay, Trufant should see top-five money.

With the Falcons getting younger on defense, the GM isn’t worried about how a big-time deal for Trufant might throw the salary cap out of whack.

“Our next major move is going to be Desmond,” Dimitroff told the AJC last week. “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.”

The 22nd pick in 2013, Trufant enters 2017 on the fifth-year of his rookie contract, set to earn $8.026 million.

Recent cornerback contracts indicate the speedy Trufant will be in line for a big payday. Last year Josh Norman signed a five-year, $75 million contract with $36.5 million guaranteed. Janoris Jenkins earned five years for $62.5 million with $28.8 million guaranteed. And Darius Slay signed for five years, $48 million with $23.1 million guaranteed.

Atlanta even gave second corner Robert Alford a four-year contract worth $38 million with $12 million guaranteed. If Alford, who has had an up-and-down career, is earning top-15 CB pay, Trufant should see top-five money.

With the Falcons getting younger on defense, the GM isn’t worried about how a big-time deal for Trufant might throw the salary cap out of whack.

Nike Falcons #24 Devonta Freeman Red Team Color Men's Stitched NFL Limited JerseyPoe made a positive impression on Quinn earlier this week, stopping by Atlanta’s headquarters during a free agency tour that included visits with the Colts, Jaguars and Dolphins. He was ranked No. 10 overall on Around The NFL’s list of the top 101 free agents.

The former Memphis star is reuniting with Falcons assistant general manager Scott Pioli, who drafted Poe at No. 11 overall — back in 2012 when Pioli was running Kansas City’s front office.

“Poe is an athletic, big guy that can push the pocket,” GM Thomas Dimitroff said Thursday in a statement released by the team. “He will add to our defensive line group and will mix nicely with (Vic) Beasley, (Grady) Jarrett, (Derrick) Shelby and (Adrian) Clayborn. We are happy to be able to add him to our roster.”

When healthy, Poe is among the most athletic interior defenders the league has seen. He blew up the 2012 scouting combine in the 40-yard dash, the 10-yard split and the bench press. Although he was deserving of a selection as an exceptionally disruptive force in 2013 and 2014, he hasn’t played at that level since undergoing back surgery in the 2015 offseason.

The prove-it deal allows Atlanta to gamble on Poe on recapturing that Pro Bowl form without committing beyond the 2017 season. If Poe does excel in Quinn’s system, he will form an imposing interior duo with LI star Grady Jarrett.