RENTON, Wash. – Marcus Trufant pulled out his phone and scrolled through it until he found his notes.
To his left were his wife and two brothers. To his right were his parents and agent. His four young daughters were in the crowd, along with about a hundred friends and family at the Seahawks’ training facility.
“I don’t want to take up a bunch of time,” he said. “I know how it gets when somebody gets in front of a microphone and they want to take all day to do and say exactly what’s on their heart.”
And then, for the next 15 minutes, Marcus Trufant put the final touches on a football career played entirely in the state of Washington.
He officially retired as a Seattle Seahawk on Thursday after 10 seasons in the NFL. Trufant, 33, spent his entire pro career playing cornerback for the Seahawks, most recently in 2012, after attending Wilson High School in Tacoma and Washington State University.
He was cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars in training camp before last season, and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider told him then they wanted him to retire as a Seahawk if the opportunity presented itself.
The night before his ceremony, Trufant typed a few notes on his phone to guide him.
“I had a hard time,” he said. “I didn’t know if I wanted to write down everything I wanted to say and try to follow a script. I figured it would be better if I spoke from the heart, if I made a couple notes and made sure I didn’t forget nobody.”
He thanked his parents for teaching him hard work, from making him do chores to the family’s morning paper route. “It taught in me and instilled in me that hard work pays off,” Trufant said.
He thanked his younger brothers, Desmond and Isaiah, both of whom play corner in the NFL. “He just laid the path out for me,” Desmond Trufant said. “I saw exactly what you have to do, what not to do, how to carry yourself on the field and off the field.”
Marcus Trufant told the story of the 2003 NFL draft. The Trufants hosted a draft-day party at Jillian’s in Tacoma, but Marcus was too nervous to watch the draft in front of everyone. So his parents and brothers joined him at a hotel nearby until Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren called with the 11th choice.
“Are you ready to be a Seattle Seahawk?” Holmgren said.
“I didn’t really know what to say,” Trufant said, “so I just said yes and left it at that.”
Now he’s moving on to the next chapter of his life.
He said his body gave out on him, and he’s able to spend more time with his wife and daughters now.
“I didn’t play this year and I was thrown immediately into full-time dad mode,” Trufant said. “And I thought that two-a-days in the summer were hard over in Cheney, Washington, in the heat my first couple years. But to go to cheerleading practice, to go to ballet, to go to dance class, to go to tap class, to go to swimming lessons – to do all of that, it’s a little bit different of a schedule.
“But I would take two-a-days any day,” he said to laughter. “It’s not easy. I would have it no other way, though.”
Trufant didn’t shed a tear. He didn’t really get choked up. He had only basic notes on his phone to sum up his NFL career: “A bunch of bumps and bruises. A few tackles. A few interceptions. A Pro Bowl. A Super Bowl appearance. Blah, blah, blah.”
“I kind of just leave it at that,” he said. “I guess for me, personally, it’s not so much about the stat sheet.”