Day two of free agency slowed down a bit in Browns Town. The Darrelle Revis trade talks diminished as rapidly as they developed. He refused a pay cut to come to Cleveland and was released by the Buccaneers earlier today. The Browns are not expected to sign wide receiver, Andrew Hawkins, as Cincinnati has decided to match our contract offer. Not all was completely lost though as Cleveland signed a veteran reserve cornerback in Isaiah Trufant.
Everyone may know that last name, Trufant, but it is not who immediately comes to mind. Marcus Trufant, older brother to Isaiah, is who I first thought of. Some may even have heard of Desmond Trufant, his younger brother, drafted in the first round by the Falcons this past year. We got the unknown middle brother Isaiah.
Fortunately, one man who does know our new cornerback is Mike Pettine. This marks the first player signed by the Cleveland Browns that has direct ties with coach Pettine. They shared time together with the New York Jets from 2010-2012.
Before his professional career began, Trufant bounced around from team to team in the lower tiered Arena Football League and United Football Leagues. The 31 year old finally got his chance in 2010 with the Jets and took full advantage of it.
For four years, Trufant has been a valued reserve defensive back and special team’s player. He has played 193 snaps over the past two years and returned a touchdown on a blocked punt in 2011. This past year he accumulated 20 tackles in addition to 13 special teams tackles. 2013 marked the only time that he played in all 16 games.
The five foot ten, 170 pound cornerback only has 46 career tackles in just 39 games (2010: 1 game, 2011: 13 games, 2012: 9 games, and 2013: 16 games). In his career, the veteran only has two passes defended.
Unfortunately, Isaiah Trufant doesn’t seem like much statistically, but I think he will bring some sort of veteran presence. Being a reserve secondary player and a primary special teams player is an important role. This isn’t a huge splash in the free agent market but a small step towards an ultimate goal.
Another good thing is this deal doesn’t hurt us that much considering the terms of the contract, two year/$1.54 million, with $1 million guaranteed. Plus, Mike Pettine has worked with him before so maybe he has seen something within Trufant that we haven’t yet.
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