The Falcons announced today that they have decided to place the franchise tag on cornerback Brent Grimes, an impending free agent. The deadline for declaring franchise players is Monday. Grimes franchise tender will cost the team roughly $10.6 million, which if he signs his tender before a long-term deal can be worked out will be fully guaranteed. The Falcons are planning on working out a long-term deal with Grimes.
If Grimes does not have the exclusive version of the franchise tag, he can sign offer sheets with another team. If the Falcons do not match that offer, then they will be compensated with two first round picks. The Falcons last used the franchise tag on punter Michael Koenen in 2009.
Grimes first joined the Falcons in 2006 as an undrafted free agent. He was cut in his first camp but re-signed and spent the following spring playing in NFL Europe. He spent most of the 2007 season on the teams practice squad before making the final roster in 2008. That year, he started 6 games before poor play forced him to be benched. The following year, he started 8 games had 6 interceptions. In 2010, he was promoted full-time to the starting position and recorded 5 tackles, and was named to the Pro Bowl as an alternative. This past year, he only had 1 interception, missing 4 games down the stretch with a knee injury.