During their recent run making six playoff appearances in seven seasons, the Seahawks have enjoyed outstanding play from their secondary as a whole and emerged as a cornerback factory with coach Pete Carroll at the helm.
But looking back at Seattle’s 42-year history as a whole, the team actually produced quite a few talented corners well before Carroll’s arrival and the “Legion of Boom” came into existence in 2011.
Which shutdown corners rank among Seattle’s best? Let’s take a look at my top five cornerbacks to ever wear a Seahawks uniform.
5. Willie Williams
Seahawks Tenure: 1997-2003
Career Stats: 17 interceptions, 389 tackles, 49 passes defensed
Williams played in a darker age of Seahawks football and may not be a familiar name for some fans. In seven seasons with Seattle, the team finished only three of them above the .500 mark. From 1999 to 2001, he recorded at least four interceptions each season. In 2001, he played perhaps his best game as a Seahawk with eight tackles and two interceptions in a loss to the Dolphins.
Williams played on Seattle’s 1999 and 2003 playoff teams, with two passes defensed in the 1999 Wild Card round loss to Miami. He finished with four defensive touchdowns during his time with the team, which ranks second all-time in franchise history. He eventually joined the dark side and helped the Steelers win the Super Bowl in 2005, but he did not play in the controversial win over the Seahawks.
4. Shawn Springs
Seahawks Tenure: 1997-2003
Career Stats: 20 interceptions, 424 tackles, 55 passes defensed
Opposite of Williams in the same secondary was Springs, forming one of the best cornerback duos Seattle has ever had. Selected third overall in the 1997 NFL Draft, he made an immediate impact with an interception and forced fumble in his rookie season. In 1998, he registered seven picks, running two of them back for scores along with a fumble recovery for a touchdown, accumulating three combined defensive touchdowns and appearing in the only Pro Bowl of his career.
Springs is tied for eighth all-time in franchise history with his 20 career interceptions and ranks fourth among Seahawks cornerbacks. Like Williams, he played in both the 1999 and 2003 playoff games for Seattle, with eight tackles and a tackle for loss in the Wild Card round loss to Green Bay in 2003.
3. Marcus Trufant
Seahawks Tenure: 2003-2012
Career Stats: 21 interceptions, 644 tackles, 112 passes defensed
Trufant made a serious case to be higher on this list. It’s more of a testament to how deep the cornerback history is in Seattle than any knock on Trufant himself. Seattle drafted him 11th overall in 2003 out of nearby Washington State in an attempt to replace the two players below him on this list. Mission accomplished.
In 2007, Trufant stood out as one of the best corners in the NFL with seven interceptions, third most in the league, including one pick-six. He earned his first and only Pro Bowl nod as a result and remarkably played on six different Seahawks playoff squads, helping them reach the Super Bowl XL in 2005. He ranks seventh all-time in franchise history for interceptions and third among corners. He also distinguished himself on this list with over 640 tackles, the most by a corner in team history.
2. Dave Brown
Seahawks Tenure: 1976-1986
Career Stats: 50 interceptions, 5 defensive touchdowns
Brown stood squarely in the way of Trufant being number two on this list, as he amassed a team-record 50 interceptions in 11 seasons with the team. That record may never be broken, as he recorded eight more picks than any other Seahawk and 18 more than any other cornerback Seattle has ever had. He also leads the Seahawks with five defensive touchdowns, which were all pick-sixes.
Brown’s best season came in 1984, as he picked off eight passes and led the league with two interceptions returned for touchdowns. After posting gaudy numbers, he earned Second-Team All-Pro distinction and helped lead the Seahawks to the playoffs for a second straight season. From a strict statistical standpoint, Brown may be the best Seahawks corner ever, but another certain player had more accolades to his name.
1. Richard Sherman
Seahawks Tenure: 2011-2017
Career Stats: 32 interceptions, 377 tackles, 99 passes defensed
The most decorated corner in franchise history, Sherman is the only Seahawks corner to garner First-Team All-Pro honors and be selected to multiple Pro Bowls. Oh, and he has a Super Bowl ring on his finger, which in debates like these, carries a lot of weight. He was an instrumental part of the defense that earned the moniker “Legion of Boom” and propelled Seattle to a Super Bowl win and a second consecutive appearance. He played in 12 playoff games total and of course, had his most iconic moment as a Seahawk in the 2013 NFC title game when he produced “The Tip.”
In seven seasons with Seattle, Sherman totaled 32 interceptions, which ranks fourth overall in team history and second among corners. He produced an NFL-leading eight interceptions in 2013, returning one of them for a touchdown while also posting 16 passes defensed and 48 tackles. From 2012 to 2014, he earned his three All-Pro selections in a row. He truly changed the way opponents game-planned for Seattle’s defense and routinely set the tone, talking the talk and walking the walk. With a Super Bowl ring, impressive interception totals, and iconic moments galore, Sherman checks all the boxes to be named the greatest Seahawks corner of all-time.