Falcons place franchise tag on cornerback Grimes

CHARLES ODUM AP Sports Writer Published:

ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta Falcons are placing the franchise tag on cornerback Brent Grimes, assuring he will receive more than $10 million if he signs the tender.

Grimes, who led the team with 17 passes defensed in 2011, is one of the most important names in an unusually large class of 17 unrestricted free agents. Other top Atlanta free agents include linebacker Curtis Lofton, who led the team in tackles, safety Thomas DeCoud, who topped the Falcons with four interceptions, and defensive end John Abraham, who led with 9 ½ sacks.

Grimes had a combined 11 interceptions in 2009 and 2010. He was an alternate Pro Bowl pick in 2010.

His agent, Ben Dogra, did not immediately reply to an interview request.