The New Orleans Saints have turned to a longtime former rival to add some much-needed experience at the cornerback position. They agreed to a deal with former Atlanta Falcons Pro Bowl defensive back Desmond Trufant after he worked out on Monday, a source confirmed to ESPN.
Trufant, 30, spent his first seven seasons in Atlanta and last year with the Detroit Lions. The 6-foot, 190-pound veteran has started 103 career games with 14 interceptions, and he was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2015.
Trufant will compete for a role as an outside cornerback on the opposite side of Pro Bowl standout Marshon Lattimore. Other candidates for that starting job include veteran Ken Crawley and rookie third-round draft pick Paulson Adebo. No matter who lines up in that spot figures to be tested early and often in Week 1 by the Green Bay Packers and reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers.
The Saints have identified cornerback as a need position ever since they released former starter Janoris Jenkins in March as part of a salary-cap purge. They even attempted to trade up nearly 20 spots in the NFL draft to acquire Jaycee Horn or Pat Surtain II. Then their options dwindled even further when veteran Patrick Robinson surprisingly announced his retirement early in training camp.
The Saints had only three cornerbacks on their initial 53-man roster — though safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson primarily serves a slot cornerback and fellow safety P.J. Williams is a former cornerback who can slide over, if needed.
The deal was first reported by NFL Network.