The Atlanta Falcons currently have 20 impending free agents as they head into the 2012 NFL offseason, and one of those free agents is star cornerback Brent Grimes. Grimes is one of the better young cornerbacks in the NFL and is a player the Falcons want to hold onto. It's possible that the Falcons will franchise tag Grimes, according to a report by The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Talks with Grimes are in the early stages. He played last season for $2.61 million. An undrafted player from Shippensburg, he toiled the first five years in the league while making near the league's minimum salary and is looking for a big payday. The Falcons will be reluctant to apply the franchise tag - a $10.6 million commitment - on Grimes if they can't work out a deal.
While Grimes is a priority for the Falcons, franchising the cornerback at $10.6 million could be a last ditch effort. Hitting Grimes with the franchise tag would make him the Falcons second-highest paid player for 2012, behind only quarterback Matt Ryan. It would also mean the Falcons' two starting cornerbacks are one of the most expensive duos in the NFL, with Dunta Robinson also due $7.7 million in 2012.
For more on the Falcons offseason and the Brent Grimes situation, head over to the SB Nation blog The Falcoholic.