Saints: What the Desmond Trufant signing means for the defense

Saints, Desmond Trufant Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports
Saints, Desmond Trufant Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Saints have reportedly made a much-needed addition to their defensive backfield signing veteran cornerback Desmond Trufant, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Trufant will join a razor-thin Saints secondary and provide some all-important depth behind projected starters Marshon Lattimore and Ken Crawley.

The longtime Atlanta Falcons cornerback is a former Pro Bowler who spent seven years playing for the Saints’ NFC South rivals.

Trufant spent last year in Detroit where he put together the worst year of his career with the Lions. He played just six games before landing on the injured reserve after battling injuries all season.

The soon-to-be 31-year-old signed with the Chicago Bears in the offseason but dealt with numerous injuries again leading to his premature release a week ago.

Now, Trufant will look to help out a Saints secondary needing extra bodies.

Desmond Trufant provides much-needed depth to the Saints cornerback room

Prior to the Trufant signing, the Saints had just three active outside cornerbacks on their 53-man roster in Lattimore, Crawley, and rookie Paulson Adebo.

There’s also C.J. Gardner-Johnson who can play in the slot, but the team needed another boundary cornerback and Trufant can provide them with just that.

Trufant is hardly the player he was during his time in Atlanta. He’s coming off a dreadful 2020 season that saw him finish with a 38.4 Pro Football Focus grade that ranked 120th out of 121 qualified cornerbacks.

Again, he was limited to just six games. And you have to consider the fact that he was playing under Matt Patricia in Detroit, a coach who’s infamous for failing to maximize the talents of his players.

Trufant was also hindered by numerous injuries which certainly affected his play. Still, the Saints will be hoping for a major bounce-back year from the former Pro Bowler.

Trufant won’t be asked to start out of the gate with Crawley likely holding onto the CB2 role opposite Lattimore. Instead, he’ll provide further depth alongside Adebo.

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The Saints needed extra cornerback depth and they got just that in an experienced longtime foe — that foe being Desmond Trufant.