Desmond Trufant, Falcons Embattled in Contract Dispute

USA TODAY Sports

Fact: Desmond Trufant once challenged his reflection to a staring contest; on the fourth day, he won.

I don't like the title of this article, even if I'm the one who came up with it. It makes me shudder. But like it or not, Desmond Trufant wants to get paid. And apparently Trufant's willing to fight for what Trufant feels Trufant is owed. Oh and, in case you couldn't tell, he likes to talk about himself in the third person.

When Atlanta traded up to the 22nd spot to draft cornerback Desmond Trufant, the team landed in the slot that produced Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden’s contract in 2012. And Weeden finagled three years of fully-guaranteed money plus $920,000 fully guaranteed in the fourth year of his deal.

Maybe Trufant doesn't know he's a cornerback. Maybe he's getting bad advice. In any case, this isn't what you like to hear just a few days before training camp.

Basically he wants the Falcons to match or best Weeden's contract, notwithstanding the obvious differences in their respective circumstances. First, as I've already mentioned, Weeden is a quarterback. They're valued higher than cornerbacks, they just are. Second, Weeden was drafted by a team in desperate need of an impact offensive player, not a team like the Falcons. Third, Weeden was a really old rookie, meaning he may only have one extension in his future. In other words, he has to make his money on the front end. Fourth, Weeden wasn't competing with Robert Alford. By that I mean he didn't have a highly underrated, ostensibly capable fellow rookie who plays his same position nipping at his heels.

Bottom line: Trufant isn't Weeden. He needs to realize that. Still, don't take any of what I've written as an indictment of Trufant. I'll remain optimistic that this won't become a serious problem. But make no mistake, it is a problem at this point. You can't compare this contract dispute with that of Matt Ryan. Ryan is already under contract for 2013 and no matter what, he'll be in camp this week. The same can't be said of Trufant. With my luck, he'll sign tomorrow and make me look like a big dummy. But to be honest, I'd be fine with that.

Your thoughts?

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