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Trading Trufant: Pros and Cons


King Jigsaw
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For anyone here that knows me past the sarcasm and spellchecking, they know that Desmond Trufant is undoubtedly my favorite Falcon on the current roster. My first mock draft had us trading up to 22 with the Rams to take him because I thought he was the best corner in that draft. (Nailed it!) (Side Note: I also thought Peter Konz was a fantastic pick.) The Falcons are in a curious position when it comes to their young star, however, and I think that's worth some discussion.

Let's start by looking at some of the cons to dealing Trufant, and some of these will be quite obvious.

CONS:

  • Teams don't rid themselves of young players in the top 5 of their positions, or at least not the successful ones. For the people that don't just cream their pants looking at interception numbers, Desmond Trufant has been one of the best corners in the league for a few years now. He's been every bit a lockdown corner and has taken away complete sides of the field because of his coverage ability. 'Cleansing' your roster of this immense talent doesn't ever seem like a wise move.
  • If Robert Alford were to get injured next year, then you would suddenly have a dilemma when trying to take away top-level receivers without your best defensive backs. Alford and Trufant were drafted together and they play quite well due to their respective strengths. Losing Trufant will make Alford the leader of the young secondary, and I think we'd lose a true captain by sending Tru to another franchise.
  • Trufant, Alford, and Collins make for one of the best nickel trios in the pros. Why break that up? Trufant was first rounder, Collins and Alford both were selected in the second frame. That's a lot of investment made into a single position group and when you start to take from that talent pool you risk wasting all of that investment by weakening the group as a whole. It's not just playing with fire, it's soaking the matches in gasoline.
  • When you trade a player away, you create a void that you must then fill. The player that you sign/draft likely won't be as talented as Trufant, so you're basically downgrading a part of your roster intentionally.

Likewise, there are some obvious pros as well, which I'll list now.

PROS:

  • Desmond Trufant is a top corner, and he will want top money - and deservedly so. By exercising Tru's 5h year option, we allowed ourselves a lot of flexibility. We can let him play out his final year and then let him walk, we can try to resign him, or we can trade him to a team willing to pay for his services without him ever having to risk the open market. So by sending him to a new team, we free up a sizable chunk of money that we would have had to dedicate to a player of his caliber. Which brings me to my next point..
  • Increased Resources. This is what will make the front office really don their thinking caps for a while. Trufant leaving would obviously be a blow, but depending on the compensation you would receive in return, one could argue that it's a worthwhile move that warrants proper discussion.
    • In TD's shoes, what would it take for you to be willing to part with Trufant? What kind of capitol are you looking for?
  • The Falcons have a very strong group of secondary players. Alford, Collins, Poole, Neal, Allen.. all of these players have Sunday experience and have had shining moments within this defensive scheme. With more money and draft picks we can continue to address more glaring needs without having to worry about having a trash secondary - as the roster looks promising beyond Trufant already.
  • Trufant has not been known for creating turnovers, if for no other reason than he doesn't get the same number of opportunities. By using Collins and Alford on the outside we might be baiting QBs to try and take advantage of Trufant no longer being in the lineup and then we can play aggressive to make them regret taking those risks. More turnovers equate to putting our NFL-best offense back on the field more, which is how we win the game.

I have to go on the record and say that I would be devastated to see Trufant being dealt, as he's a player that I want to see be a Falcon for life. I hope for one day Trufant to unseat the man whom he had to get special jersey number permission from as the top corner in franchise history. I hope that in the future someone will have to ask him if they can wear 21 for the Falcons. Putting personal bias aside, however, I think this is something worth bringing up and seeing what other fans believe is the proper course to take in this situation. I very much look forward to reading the responses and thank all who participate in this discussion.

Edited by King Jigsaw
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I think we will let him go this offseason and I think the main reason will be the kind of money we would have to spend on a CB that doesn't get a lot of interceptions.

We would most likely get a 3rd round pick for him and use the financial,resources in other areas.

I think Quinn places an extremely high premium on turnovers and Collins is looking like he could be a ball hawk. In a very short amount of playing time Collins has had his hands all over several balls and he's only  going in to get better.

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4 minutes ago, gazoo said:

I think we will let him go this offseason and I think the main reason will be the kind of money we would have to spend on a CB that doesn't get a lot of interceptions.

We would most likely get a 3rd round pick for him and use the financial,resources in other areas.

I think Quinn places an extremely high premium on turnovers and Collins is looking like he could be a ball hawk. In a very short amendment unit of playing time Collins has had his hands all over several balls and he's not going in to get better.

I'd want more than a 3rd for Tru. 

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I love Trufant. I really do. One of my favorite players on our team. But with the murmurings I've heard that he wants 13 mil a year, and the very real possibility of getting a first round pick for him in an absurdly deep draft...I fear he won't be a Falcon for much longer. It's the Belicheck way.

It sucks, but I'd understand it.

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7 minutes ago, gazoo said:

I think we will let him go this offseason and I think the main reason will be the kind of money we would have to spend on a CB that doesn't get a lot of interceptions.

We would most likely get a 3rd round pick for him and use the financial,resources in other areas.

I think Quinn places an extremely high premium on turnovers and Collins is looking like he could be a ball hawk. In a very short amendment unit of playing time Collins has had his hands all over several balls and he's not going in to get better.

 

if we only get a 3rd for a top 5 cb. someone better be fired.

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4 minutes ago, gazoo said:

 

I think we will let him go this offseason and I think the main reason will be the kind of money we would have to spend on a CB that doesn't get a lot of interceptions.

We would most likely get a 3rd round pick for him and use the financial,resources in other areas.

I think Quinn places an extremely high premium on turnovers and Collins is looking like he could be a ball hawk. In a very short amendment unit of playing time Collins has had his hands all over several balls and he's not going in to get better.

I edited the OP to add a bit on this. I think if we continue to build our front seven we can get more high-pressure throws into a gambling secondary. The increase in turnovers caused by this will put our offense back on the field. That's always a good thing.

1 minute ago, Yo_Lover said:

Keep him. Like Quinn said whenever people questioned resigning Julio, he wants to find and keep superstars not let them go.

Fair point. Just to play devil's advocate, however, you could argue that Shanahan's offense placed a huge emphasis on the WR1 when he first got to Atlanta. Julio was the entire heartbeat of the offense. I think losing Julio would hurt the offense more than losing Trufant would hurt the defense. Agree or disagree?

I'm never a fan of letting superstars walk, but if we don't know that he intends to stay here after next year we would be wise to get more out of a trade than we would get from a comp selection.

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2 minutes ago, falconfansince66 said:

I would think we'll get him re-signed after (or during) next season.  Sure, he's going to command some big money but this hasn't been a team that's let their best talent that they've acquired via the draft hit the road like we used to see back when the Smiths owned the franchise. (D.Sanders...) 

The problem with this is what we've seen happen in Seattle. They started knocking drafts out of the park but eventually you're faced with decisions on who to keep and who to let go. Can't always resign everyone. They signed Sherman at the expense of someone like Bruce Irvin. If we resign Trufant, is it at the expense of resigning Beasley? Matthews? Freeman? These are things we have to think about also.

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2 minutes ago, A Dog Named Brian said:

Can those of you proposing we let him go please pass that **** so I can take a hit?? He's not going anywhere

I don't think that you'll find many, if any, fans that want Trufant gone. But it is a possibility that he will be wearing another uniform in 2018 so until that contract is sign I think it's worth talking about.

2 minutes ago, birdz4i said:

exactly. if you have answers, why create questions?

Just a matter of weighing options. We might have an answer for 2017 with that 5th year option, but what happens in 2018? We didn't create that question - his rookie deal did. Until we lock him up, every option is possible.

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1 minute ago, gazoo said:

a 3rd is the highest compensatory pick there is.

Trufant has an option Year in 2017 for something like $8 Mill doesn't he? 

Falcons have already exercised this option, there's a deadline for it.

So Trufant is guaranteed to be a Falcon this year unless we trade him. If we don't think he's going to be resigned then it's better to trade him this year rather than letting him walk for free. You just have to know that what you're getting for him is worth more to your team than what he would give you for that final year.

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1 minute ago, King Jigsaw said:

The problem with this is what we've seen happen in Seattle. They started knocking drafts out of the park but eventually you're faced with decisions on who to keep and who to let go. Can't always resign everyone. They signed Sherman at the expense of someone like Bruce Irvin. If we resign Trufant, is it at the expense of resigning Beasley? Matthews? Freeman? These are things we have to think about also.

I do think we have to play him along with Alford and Collins more next year and if he works out, the least we can do is put the Franchise Tag on him for 2018 while we develop another DB if needed. 

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TD will do like he's done everybody else he's signed or retained... he will sign Trufant for his price or he won't sign him at all. For all the criticisms of Dimitroff, he has very prudent with our cap since he's been here. 

If they sense Trufant won't play ball in contract negotiations, then I can see them looking to trade but not in order to just gain draft assets. 

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2 minutes ago, FentayeJones said:

We are not about to trade up in the 1st round for a player and let him walk or trade him. Not only that hes one of the best corners in the NFL and has been an absulute stud. This remind me of the trade/let walk Julio threads from a couple of years ago.

I agree. There's been a lot invested in Trufant and there will be even more investment if we sign him. However, we don't know that he'll be resigned yet. I hope he is because I don't want to see him go anywhere, but just like with Julio's deal - until the contract is signed, we have to at least be aware of the possibilities.

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I get that Tru is a great CB, and you always want to hold on to elite talent, but the more superstars we have that start getting new contracts, how do you pay for all that?

I'm not an expert on NFL contracts, but if you constantly pay every superstar you have, you're going to choke your budget for other needs, like signing undervalued FA's. Honestly, among the superstars we have, I believe Tru is currently the most disposable. And while he's certainly worth the money, given our current security at CB he's not worth the money for our franchise.

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2 minutes ago, Butudontseeme™ said:

TD will do like he's done everybody else he's signed or retained... he will sign Trufant for his price or he won't sign him at all For all the criticisms of Dimitroff, he has very prudent with her cap since he's been here. 

If they sense Trufant won't play ball in contract negotiations, then I can see them looking to trade but not in order to just gain draft assets. 

That first paragraph is a very good point. I didn't think about that, but it's true. TD has been criticized in the past for certain decisions but the cap has never been an issue under him. While guys like Loomis and Newsome got all the praise, TD has been one of the better GMs during his tenure here.

As for your second point, I hope this didn't come off as a "what draft picks can we get if we trade Trufant?" kind of thread. I do think there are scenarios where we could come out the winners in a Trufant trade and that's what I want to discuss here.

Is there a scenario that you fellow posters see where the pros outweigh the cons in trading Trufant?

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