By: James Johnson
The Jaguars young secondary gained some much needed experience with the signing of veteran cornerback Marcus Trufant this Tuesday. Drafted in 2003, the 10 year veteran spent his whole career in his native state of Washington with the Seattle Seahawks prior to signing with the Jaguars Tuesday afternoon. Trufant spent four of those years playing under current Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley, who was then Trufant’s defensive coordinator. The relationship between the two seems to be a one of many factors in the decision of Trufant joining the Jaguars.
Trufant made the statement that he expected to get a few calls after the draft from teams who didn’t quite fill all the holes in their respective backfields.
The Jaguars weren’t one of those teams however, as a matter of fact they drafted 3 corners in Gratz, McCray and Harris. The problem was they became too young at the cornerback position after the draft. Thus, the Jaguars felt the need to bring a veteran presence into the mix and Trufant brings that to the table. Prior to the addition of Trufant it appeared that the Jaguars would likely have to start 2 rookies in Gratz, and Cyprien alongside veteran free safety Dwight Lowery and possibly free agent acquisition Alan Ball, who only has 22 starts over his 6 year career. With Trufant now in the picture and entering the competition against Gratz and Ball it’s a possibility the starting line-up will have a little more experience in the backfield than we expected if Trufant can compete and win this summer’s competition.
When asked by J.P. Shadrick, of Jaguars.com, what role he’ll play Trufant went on to say “It will be a little bit of everything. I just finished my tenth year so I’m able to bring some wisdom to the table, but at the same time I’m here to play, compete, and help the team in any way I can.”
Trufant also went on to say “This is a young up and coming team, and I’m just happy to be a part of it.”
Despite his experience however, Trufant will have an uphill battle to climb as his role was reduced over the course of his career in Seattle. He was exclusively a nickel corner under both Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner this past season in Seattle. Even under that role he was limited to 364 snaps due to back and hamstring issues according to Rotoworld.com .
That being said, it appears his chances of sticking around will depend on his health over the course of this years summer camp. I believe if he doesn’t start at either of the primary corner positions the Jags will likely let him go as second year player Mike Harris seems to have the teams nickel spot on lock after having a great rookie season there last year.
The terms of Trufant’s 1-year deal it appears to be for veteran minimum, one that seems to be a trend for David Caldwell in this rebuilding process as it is cap friendly whether they keep cut him or not.