The move saves the Falcons $4.95 million against the salary cap. Trufant had three years and $35.25 million left on his contract. The Falcons were looking for salary-cap relief as they attempt to target an impact pass-rusher in free agency.
The Falcons released starting running back Devonta Freeman ($3.5 million cap savings; $6 million dead money) on Monday, a source told ESPN. The team also announced the release of offensive lineman Ty Sambrailo ($3.7 million cap savings) and tight end Luke Stocker ($2.6 million cap savings).
Trufant, 29, was a first-round pick in 2013 and named to the Pro Bowl in 2015. Injuries derailed his time with the Falcons, including a broken forearm that limited him to nine games last season. Trufant recorded a career-high four interceptions before the season-ending injury.
With Trufant set to be released, the Falcons will count on young cornerbacks Kendall Sheffield and Isaiah Oliver. Oliver showed growth in the second half of last season, and Sheffield showed his versatility in playing both outside and as the nickel inside. The Falcons are likely to add another starting-caliber cornerback, either through the draft or via free agency.
Trufant started 97 games in seven seasons with the Falcons, recording 326 tackles, 13 interceptions, 7 fumble recoveries, 3 forced fumbles and 2 defensive touchdowns. His play before the injury last season would indicate he still could make an impact for a cornerback-needy team.
The news of Trufant's release was first reported by NFL Network.