Trufant released

Veteran cornerback Marcus Trufant was released by the Seahawks today.

Trufant, the team’s first-round draft choice in 2003 out of Washington State, started 16 games five times and 15 games two other times in his first eight seasons. But back problems limited him to 10 games in 2009 and four games last season.

“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,” general manager John Schneider said in announcing the move.

“Marcus has done so much for this organiaztion, but because of changing landscape of the NFL, tough decisions have to be made and this is the correct thing to do at this time.”

Trufant, 31, was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2007 after producing a career-high seven interceptions and 85 tackles. Trufant also became the only cornerback in franchise history to lead the team in tackles in 2004, when he had a career-high 93.

He became expendable because of the development of the team’s younger cornerbacks last season. Brandon Browner played in the Pro Bowl following his first season with the Seahawks, while Richard Sherman was voted to the NFL All-Rookie team after stepping in for Trufant. The club also has the promising duo of Walter Thurmond and Byron Maxwell, who were added in the past two NFL Drafts.

The 11th pick overall in the 2003 draft, Trufant was the longest-tenured member of the Seahawks. He is fifth on the team’s all-time list in interceptions (21) and ranks 10th in career tackles (604).

Trufant went to WSU after being an all-state selection at Tacoma’s Wilson High School.

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