The Atlanta Falcons have placed the franchise tag on cornerback Brent Grimes, general manager Thomas Dimitroff announced on 790 The Zone, the team's flagship radio station.
Originally signed by the Falcons as an undrafted free agent out of Shippensburg, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound cornerback has 248 tackles, 13 interceptions and 56 passes defensed in 58 career games.
Grimes played last season under a one-year restricted free agent tender worth $2.611 million in base salary. Under the franchise tag, Grimes would earn $10.431 million in guaranteed base salary in 2012, once the contract is signed.
Grimes receiving the tender means middle linebacker Curtis Lofton could hit the free agent market on March 13. Lofton has led the Falcons in each of the last three seasons and could be a target for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.