A prolonged free agency period has finally concluded for former Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard. According to NFL insider Tom Pelissero, the Atlanta Falcons have agreed to terms with Dennard. It will be a one-year deal.
The #Falcons agreed to terms with former #Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard, source said.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 30, 2020
Back in March, Dennard had verbally agreed to a three-year, $13.5 million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars but the two sides “could not come to an agreement on the final contract terms,” per a statement from the Jaguars.
The details of that impasse are still unclear, but it was reported that Dennard would’ve been given a chance to play as an outside cornerback in Jacksonville. Dennard’s desire to play on the outside is one of the reasons why he didn’t return to Cincinnati this offseason, but it appears that he’ll remain in the slot with the Falcons.
One thing to add: Per source, while Darqueze Dennard can play outside he is preferred as a nickel by the Falcons. Assuming he gets a deal similar to what Jags offered (3 years, $13.5M), he’s likely starting. That obviously shifts rest of corner group. https://t.co/BgFmKQxrJy— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) July 30, 2020
The Bengals originally drafted Dennard with the 24th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. He appeared in 77 games with the Bengals and made 24 starts, playing the vast majority of his snaps in the slot. He recorded a total of 200 tackles (85 stops per Pro Football Focus), 22 passes defended, three forced fumbles and three interceptions.
Dennard was an quality slot cornerback for the Bengals and should be a good player for the Falcons as well. The question for him continues to be if he can stay healthy. He’s only had two seasons with over 500 snaps played, and his durability concerns are why he settled for a one-year with the Bengals last offseason after he tested his market.
Dennard is the second free agent to leave Cincinnati for Atlanta this offseason; LaRoy Reynolds signed a one-year deal with Atlanta back in March.