The Atlanta Falcons have reached a five-year extension with cornerback Desmond Trufant, the team confirmed Saturday morning.
The extension is worth $69 million with approximately $42 million guaranteed, as first reported by The Huffington Post and confirmed by ESPN. No other contract details were immediately available.
Trufant expressed his gratitude in a tweet shortly after the deal was announced.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff said signing Trufant to an extension was the team’s top priority this spring. Trufant, the 22nd overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft out of Washington, was going into the final year of his rookie contract and was due to make $8,026,000 in 2017 after the Falcons exercised the fifth-year option.
Trufant is among the league’s elite cornerbacks and now will be paid as one. His $42 million guaranteed would put him just below Washington’s Josh Norman ($50 million), Arizona’s Patrick Peterson ($48 million) and Cleveland’s Joe Haden ($45.078 million) in terms of guaranteed money.
“We are really happy to be able to get this extension done,” Dimitroff said via statement. “Trufant has proven to be a valuable leader to our team and embodies every trait that Coach Quinn and I are looking for from players that are a part of our brotherhood. Trufant has improved each year, and we believe his best ball is still in front of him. We knew this extension was going to be a component to our offseason plan, and I am excited with the way we have been able to execute our entire plan as we have built our roster.”
The Falcons previously rewarded No. 2 cornerback Robert Alford with a four-year, $38 million extension that included $21 million guaranteed.
Trufant is known for shutting down one side of the field and is one of the team’s best defenders when healthy. Last season he played in nine games before suffering a season-ending pectoral injury that required surgery. Falcons coach Dan Quinn recently said Trufant would be sidelined for organized team activities but should be ready to go for training camp.
Trufant has 168 tackles, 48 passes defensed, seven interceptions and three sacks through four seasons.