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Marcus Trufant moves on after decade with Seahawks

Marcus Trufant’s 10-year run with the Seahawks officially ended Tuesday when he signed with Jacksonville. (AP)

By Danny O’Neil

The transaction can be described in just four words: Jacksonville signs Marcus Trufant.

Really, it deserves more attention than that as it amounts to the end of a Seahawks career for the team’s longest-tenured active player, and after his career in this state, it’s hard to imagine a football season around here without him. Trufant grew up in Tacoma, attended Wilson High School and went on to enroll at Washington State before becoming a first-round pick in 2003.

Now, after 10 seasons as a Seahawk, he will be gone.

This is not a shock. The Seahawks nearly moved on a year ago only to have Walter Thurmond reinjure his leg in the offseason, opening up a role as the nickelback that brought Trufant back. And anyone who watched Trufant struggle to keep up with slot receivers like Miami’s Davone Bess in 2012 could have guessed he was nearing the end of his run with the team.

When Seattle signed Antoine Winfield earlier this offseason, it made apparent what was made official by the Jaguars’ announcement Tuesday: Trufant was done as a Seahawk. He moves on to Jacksonville, which is coached by Gus Bradley, the former defensive coordinator in Seattle.

But before Marcus moves on, let’s pause a moment to give some attention to a player whose career may not be remembered as spectacular but should be acknowledged for its consistency. He was the first-round pick who spent a decade manning one of the loneliest positions, a cornerback isolated on the outside.

Trufant’s Seahawks career

Drafted: 11th overall in 2003
Games: 136 in regular season
Interceptions: 21 (two touchdowns)
Passes defended: 112
Tackles: 638
Postseason: Interception returned for touchdown, nine passes defended, 42 tackles in 11 games.

There were times when he was great, making the Pro Bowl in 2007. There were times when he was hurt, coming back from a back injury in 2009 to play the final 10 games even though he clearly was not at full strength. Trufant was one of the last links to another era of Seahawks football as he and linebacker Leroy Hill were the only two players remaining from Seattle’s Super Bowl team who were still on the roster last year. Hill remains un-signed.

Most of all, in a league where the injury list can become an excuse for sitting out a game, Trufant always did everything he could to be available on Sunday. He played in 136 games for the Seahawks, which might not sound like a lot until you realize that only four first-round picks in this franchise’s history ever played more for the team: Walter Jones (180), Jacob Green (178), Jeff Bryant (175) and Cortez Kennedy (167).

It’s a statistic that is testament to both Trufant’s consistency and professionalism, and on the day it became official that he won’t be back, it’s worth to remember just how often Trufant was there for the Seahawks over the past 10 years.