The team announced Tuesday that Grimes signed his franchise tender after being absent from voluntary work on Monday. A former practice squad player, Grimes has steadily developed into one of the most consistent cover cornerbacks in football. He will make $10.431 million this year.
We doubt it's a coincidence that Grimes signed his deal on the same day that the Asante Samuel-to-Atlanta rumors surfaced. Grimes may have seen the possible addition of a high priced cornerback as a threat. It was reported earlier this offseason that Grimes had "no plans" to sign the tender and wanted a long-term deal.
If the Falcons traded for Samuel, they theoretically could have rescinded the tag to Grimes. While the fifth-year pro would do just fine as a free agent, the big money this offseason has already been spent. Atlanta may have been not-so-subtly putting the screws to Grimes by leaking their interest in Samuel.
Put it this way: It would be very surprising to see Grimes, Samuel, and Dunta Robinson in the same secondary this year.