The Seattle Seahawks released cornerback Marcus Trufant, the team’s No. 1 draft pick in 2003 and a Pro Bowler in 2007 , Wednesday afternoon. The development came as little surprise as the 32-year-old Trufant, who attended Washington State University, spent most of the 2011 season on injured reserve (back injury).
The move also cleared about $4.5 million in salary under the cap, where the Seahawks already have more than $20 million to work with.
“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.
“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.”
The Seahawks selected Trufant with the 11th overall pick in the 2003 NFL draft. Trufant became an immediate starter, missing only one start in 124 career games played, returning from a back injury and playing in the nickel defense at Dallas (Dec. 1, 2009). He also started all nine Seahawks postseason games in his career.
He made 604 tackles (533 solo) to rank 10th in club history. His 21 interceptions rank fifth. He also return two picks for TDs, had 113 passes defensed, four forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.
Trufant was voted to the Pro Bowl after the 2007 season, when he notched a career-high seven interceptions (2nd NFC, T3rd NFL), 85 tackles and 16 passes defensed, including tying the franchise-mark with three interceptions in one game (vs. Arizona, 12/9/07) and returning one 84 yards for his first career score.
In 2004, he became only the fourth cornerback in NFL history to lead his team in tackles when he recorded a career-high 93 (83 solo). He also tied his career high with 20 passes defensed (2003).
Trufant’s final season in Seattle was cut short due to a back injury after four games and he was placed on injured reserve on Oct.17. The success of the Seahawks’ newcomers to the secondary, three of whom played in the Pro Bowl, made the decision to release him no surprise.
HILL CLEARED OF CHARGES — Marijuana possession charges against Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill were dropped in Atlanta Monday after and he and his girlfriend passed drug tests following their arrests.
Hill was arrested Feb. 25, after police dogs discovered the smell of marijuana from his 17th floor condominium as police conducted a random search.
Police obtained a search warrant and said “blunts” were in plain view. The couple was arrested, posted bond and was released. They submitted to urine tests after arrest and the tests came back negative.
Hill, 29, played all 16 games for the first time in his seven-year NFL career last season and was fourth on the team with 89 tackles, and second with four sacks.