The Seattle Seahawks have released veteran cornerback Marcus Trufant Wednesday, their first-round selection (11th overall) from the 2003 NFL Draft who became an immediate starter.
Trufant missed only one start in 124 career games played, and started all nine of his postseason games.
Similar to the release of quarterback Peyton Manning by the Indianapolis Colts, in terms of being a staple for the team and the community, parting ways with Trufant is not a surprise decision by the Seahawks’ organization after sustaining back injuries in two of the previous three seasons.
Last season after four contests, Trufant’s year was ended due to a back injury and was placed on injured reserve Oct. 17, marking his final time playing in a Seahawks’ uniform. Manning had four neck surgeries for the past three years and missed the Colts’ 2011 campaign as he waited for nerves to regenerate in his neck.
Also in relation with the Colts’ situation of releasing Manning, in terms of emotions, it was not an easy decision.
“Out of respect for Marcus and his family, we’ve decided to release him today so that he has an opportunity to explore the full window of unrestricted free agency and the options that go along with it,” said General Manager John Schneider, via team’s press release. “Marcus has done so much for this organization, but because of the changing landscape of the NFL, tough decisions have to be made and this is the correct thing to do at this time.”
In Trufant’s nine campaigns with the Seahawks, he registered 604 tackles (533 solo) ranking him 10th all-time in club history, two sacks, 21 interceptions (fifth all-time in franchise history), two touchdowns on interception returns, 113 passes defensed, four forced fumbles, and five fumble recoveries.
Trufant was voted to the Pro Bowl for the 2007 season, when he accommodated a career-high seven interceptions, 85 tackles and 16 passes defensed, including tying the franchise-mark with three interceptions in one game (vs. the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 9) and returned one of those picks 84 yards for his first-career score.
In 2004, the Washington state native became only the fourth cornerback in NFL history to lead their team in tackles, in which he recorded a career-high 93 (83 solo) and tied his career-high with 20 passes defensed (2003).
The Colts are preparing to move forward knowing that they have the first overall selection for the 2012 NFL Draft, where quarterback Andrew Luck from Stanford is ripe for the picking.
The Seahawks’ secondary looks promising with their have young, athletic defensive backs to help led the way for a quietly improved defense in the 6-2 Brandon Browner, Walter Thurmond, Bryon Maxwell, and Richard Sherman.
Similar to Manning, Trufant is healthy and is focus on the near future to help a club win.