As teams look to cut down rosters and minimize costs, players are beginning to find themselves in need of a new home. The most recent salary cap casualty is Lions cornerback Desmond Trufant. Detroit announced they would be releasing Trufant one year after signing him to a two-year, 21 million dollar deal.
Head coach Dan Campbell seemed to indicate this move would be happening sooner rather than later earlier this week. When asked what the Lions plans were for Trufant, Campbell gave an uninspiring response:
“Look, [Detroit General Manager Brad Holmes] and I have talked about all that. I would say there are going to be some things that go down this week, one way or another.” … “When all that happens, you’ll know, but I don’t want to get too deep into all that.”Dan Campbell, Detroit Lions Head Coach
Campbell’s comments come after an underwhelming season from Trufant. The former Falcons corner started just 6 games for the Lions this past season, recording one interception and four passes defended. On top of his underwhelming stats, Pro Football Focus graded him as the second-worst corner in the entire league. Trufant ranked 120th out of 121 eligible cornerbacks, finishing with an abysmal overall grade of 38.4.
Trufant is not the only cornerback to blame on the Lions’ secondary. Justin Coleman, another potential roster cut, finished with an overall PFF grade of 47.4. Rookie Jeff Okudah struggled to transition to the NFL, as he ranked towards the bottom of the league in overall PFF grade this season.
The move saves the Lions $6.18 million in cap space for the upcoming season. Detroit will also take on $6 million in dead money to move on from Trufant’s contract. While Trufant’s next deal won’t be worth $10+ million annually, Trufant still has value in the league as a rotational corner.