Gregg Rosenthal of Pro Football Talk reports that the Falcons have begun negotiations with the representatives of impending free agent cornerback Brent Grimes in order to bring him back to Atlanta. General manager Thomas Dimitroff was quoted earlier today at a press conference at the Scouting Combine as saying:
Those are difficult discussions to have because they are high dollar discussions. Brent Grimes is a fine football player and we’d like to have him back. We have begun our negotions with his representatives. Ben Dogra and Tom Condon are obviously accomplished agents. We’re not wasting any time with our discussions. We feel like we can come to a good conclusion to this negotiation.
If the Falcons and Grimes cannot come to an agreement between now and March 5, it’s possible that the team could use the franchise tag on him. March 5 is the final day in which teams can designate players as franchise players, which would then restrict their ability to sign elsewhere since the Falcons would need to be compensated with draft picks. The tag for cornerbacks is expected to be at around $10.6 million, which would be fully guaranteed if Grimes were to sign his tender. The last time the Falcons used the tag on a prospective free agent was in 2009, when they placed it upon punter Michael Koenen. The start of free agency will not begin until March 13 this year.