Yesterday, the Seahawks placed CB Marcus Trufant on the Injured Reserve list, officially ending his season, and there’s a good chance this will be the end of his time in a Seahawks uniform. Trufant’s contract expires after the end of the season, and I believe it’s very unlikely that he will be re-signed.
Trufant was once a very good shut-down corner, arguably in the league’s top-10 at his position. Trufant suffered a major back injury during the offseason before the 2009 season, forcing the team to place him on the PUP list and causing him to miss the team’s first 6 games.
Since returning from that injury, he simply hasn’t been the same player. In 2009 he lacked all of the agility that had previously made him a pro-bowler, forcing him to grab and foul in order to be get beat. He lead the league in pass interference penalties that year. Trufant rebounded some in 2010. While he wasn’t the dominant corner that he once was, he was improved. 2011 was much of the same. It was clear that his veteran savy was able to able to make up for some of his lost physical abilities, but he was never going to regain the form from before his 2009 injury.
Trufant re-injured his back during the week 4 loss against the Falcons. Officially, it was a bruised sternum. While a bone bruise would be painful, and one in the back would make it impossible to play, I find it difficult to believe that it would keep him out long enough to justify being placed on IR. Perhaps there’s more to this injury than everyone is letting on.
Going forward, I just don’t see Trufant being re-signed. This team has gotten younger at every position, and Trufant was one of only players over 30 left on the roster.
I still think Trufant can be a productive player in the NFL. Trufant has always played the run well, and can still play zone coverage as well as anyone. He could really excel on a team that uses the “Tampa-2” defense like Tampa, Chicago, or Indy. He would also make an excellent free-safety on a team that uses their FS mostly as a “center fielder” in the back of the defense.
Unfortunately, there are many Seahawks fans who believe that Trufant’s lesser play began the moment he signed his big contract after the 2007 season. This is simply not true. Trufant was still playing at a pro-bowl level in 2008. He did have less interceptions, but ints are not the stat that matters when it comes to corners. Team’s just stayed away from Trufant that season, rarely throwing the ball in his direction.