Trufant agrees with Seahawks on long-term deal
It's All In The Timing
Of the cornerbacks with the most interceptions in 2007, Marcus Trufant and Asante Samuel were able to capitalize with big contracts in the offseason. Leigh Bodden was traded to the Detroit Lions with a third-round draft pick for Shaun Rogers.
Trufant reached a six-year, $50.2 million deal with the Seahawks on Wednesday that includes $20 million in guarantees. In the first three years of the contract, he will make $28 million.
All along, Trufant wanted to stay in Seattle. He grew up in Tacoma, was drafted 11th overall in 2003 out of Washington State, and remains involved with the community.
"This is a great wedding present," his fiancee, Jessica Rankin, said with a grin as large as Trufant's timely windfall while standing inside Seahawks headquarters.
"Yeah, it's a good week for Marcus," Hendrickson said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday morning.
The temporary roadblock was the franchise tag, which the Seahawks applied Feb. 20. Trufant's hope was to hit the free-agent market and give the Seahawks a chance to match. But the franchise tag gave the Seahawks all of the leverage in the negotiations.
The negotiations took a positive turn late last week when the Seahawks extended the contract of middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu. Four defensive players restructured their contracts in order to help fit the deal into the team's tight salary cap.
"Like Lofa, Marcus is a cornerstone of our defense and our football team. And we kind of solidified that group for many years to come," Seahawks president Tim Ruskell told AP.
Ruskell told AP that Trufant's new deal gives the team cap relief to set aside $3-4 million to sign a new kicker to replace departed free agent Josh Brown, and to sign rookies following next month's draft.
Just as he did last week when Tatupu signed his new deal, Ruskell said of Trufant's contract: "It effectively makes him a Seahawk for life."
Trufant had told the Seahawks he would be willing to take a hometown discount on a long-term deal. The question was how much less he would be willing to take compared to deals done by Asante Samuel (who signed for six years, $57 million), Nate Clements (eight years, $80 million) and DeAngelo Hall (seven years, $70 million).
Now, he can go on his honeymoon knowing where he is going to play the next six years.
"It kind of just seems like everything is working out like a storybook in my life. I played ball here. I grew up here. I got to play college ball here, NFL ball here. I'm getting married in Seattle. Things just all come together," Trufant said.
John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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