RENTON, Wash. (AP) -- Marcus Trufant's balky back and lofty salary finally led to the end of his career with his hometown team.
Trufant was released by Seattle on Wednesday after nine seasons as a constant in the Seahawks' secondary, but was saddled with back problems the last few years.
"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," Seahawks general manager John Schneider said in a statement. "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."
Drafted by Seattle with the 11th overall pick in 2003, Trufant started all but one of the 124 regular-season games he played with the Seahawks. He also started all nine postseason games he played with the team. He finished his career with Seattle with 21 interceptions -- returning two for touchdowns. Trufant was voted to the Pro Bowl after recording a career-high seven interceptions during the 2007 season.
Trufant was a fan favorite having grown up in nearby Tacoma, Wash., and was a college star at Washington State. But back problems sidelined two of the past three seasons for Trufant. Trufant missed the first six games of the 2009 season with a bad back that was aggravated early in the 2011 season. Trufant played in just four games before being placed on injured reserve on Oct. 17. His absence allowed for the emergence of rookie Richard Sherman, who along with Pro Bowl alternate Brandon Browner are the presumed starters heading into 2012.
Salary was also a factor. Trufant was scheduled to make $7.2 million according to the NFL Players Association.