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Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Trufant was right corner at right time

By Mike Sando

The Seattle Seahawks looked around the NFC West in 2003 and decided they needed a cornerback with Marcus Trufant's size, speed and skill.

They made Trufant the 11th pick of the draft.

Trufant
"In this division we're in, you can't have enough good corners," then-coordinator Ray Rhodes said on draft day 2003.

Trufant wound up covering Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald while all were at or near their primes. He fared well enough to earn Pro Bowl honors during the 2007 season, but age and injuries eventually caught up with him.

As Danny O'Neil reports, the Seahawks plan to release Trufant in a move that seemed inevitable for various reasons.

Trufant, 31, missed 12 games to injury last season. Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman flourished in his absence. There was no way Seattle was going to bring back Trufant at his $7.2 million salary for 2012. The question was whether the sides might work out something allowing Trufant to return at a diminished rate, and in a diminished role. He had taken a reduced salary for 2011 heading into the season.

Trufant was the longest-tenured current Seahawk. He started at least 15 games in seven of his nine seasons, picking off 21 passes. Trufant started the only Super Bowl in franchise history. He made an immediate impact, starting every game as a rookie and playing well early.

"It’s hard to put into words when you’ve been at this a long time how a young player like Marcus, who’s a rookie, can be as consistent and solid as he has been," then-coach Mike Holgmren said at the time. "I'm one of those who has said, 'Let's not anoint him yet.' But he has been playing very, very well for us."

Terence Newman, Andre Woolfolk and Nnamdi Asomugha were the other first-round cornerbacks entering the NFL with the 2003 draft class.

Back trouble slowed Trufant in 2009 and again last season. He started the first four games in 2011 before landing on injured reserve.