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Cleveland Browns add special-teams ace Isaiah Trufant


Isaiah Trufant gives the Browns secondary depth and special-teams help

The Cleveland Browns made a move to enhance their secondary depth and special teams by signing reserve defensive back Isaiah Trufant in free agency.

Trufant, 31, had been with the New York Jets. He was there for three of the four seasons (2009-12) that new Browns coach Mike Pettine spent as the Jets' defensive coordinator.

"Pettine, he's a great coach, and I'm excited to play for him," Trufant said while being introduced at a news conference in Berea Wednesday with the Browns' two other free-agent signees, linebacker Karlos Dansby and strong safety Donte Whitner.

The 5-foot-8, 170-pound Trufant began his pro football career in the Arena2 League in 2006, with the Spokane Shock. He also played in the Arena Football League, and United Football League before joining the Jets' practice squad in 2010. After being waived by the Jets, the former Eastern Washington standout was a member of the Philadelphia Eagles through their 2011 training camp before being waived and re-signed by the Jets.

"Well, on the journey I've taken, you always want to shoot for the stars," Trufant said. "Starting out on my journey, I wasn't highly sought after, through high school to have only one scholarship offer, which was a partial scholarship to Eastern Washington. And I feel I made the most of that. No NFL offers right out of college, so I did the Arena2 League, the AFL, the UFL, and finally got into the NFL in 2010 with the Jets.

"So, it's been a ride, I'm enjoying it, and I'm excited to be a Brown now."

Trufant made 20 tackles while appearing in all 16 games for the Jets last season. For his NFL career, he has registered 46 tackles two passes defensed. In the past two years, Trufant has been on the field for 193 defensive snaps. His career highlight came in 2011 when he returned a blocked punt 18 yards for a touchdown.

"At the Jets, I was typically a backup guy and a special-teams guy," Trufant said. "We'd get tossed in here and there in some packages and whatnot. The (Browns' defensive) scheme, I feel, will benefit what I do, and that's with my speed and quickness and things of that nature."

Trufant's younger brother, Desmond, was a first-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons last year, while his other brother, Marcus, played for the Seattle Seahawks.

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