Tracy O'Neil Porter (born August 11, 1986) is an American football cornerback who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft. With the Saints, he won Super Bowl XLIV against the Indianapolis Colts, having a memorable pick 6 in the game. He played college football at Indiana.

Porter has also played for the Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Washington Redskins, and Chicago Bears.

 

 

Early years

Porter attended Port Allen High School, where he played quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and cornerback. He earned first team All-District 3A honors in his first year of organized football as a junior and second-team as a senior after recording 93 tackles, 11 interceptions (two returned for touchdowns) and 14 pass breakups. He also returned two punts and two kickoffs each for touchdowns, averaging 47.0 yards per kick return and 28.0 per punt return.

In addition to football, Porter was also a starter at point guard for the basketball team and a sprinter on the track & field, where he posted a personal-best time of 10.4 seconds in the 100-meter dash.

College career

Porter played college football for the Indiana University Hoosiers from 2004-2007. During his senior year, he earned All-Big Ten Conference first-team. He finished his career second in Indiana Hoosiers history with 16 career interceptions and first in interception yards with 413. He also became the first player in school history to return a punt, interception and fumble for touchdowns in his career. He finished his career with 212 tackles and 16 interceptions.

Professional career

Pre Draft

Porter improved his draft stock with an impressive showing at the NFL Combine. His 4.37 40-yard dash time there was tied for the 10th fastest of all of the attending players and his 4.07 20 and 11.22 60 yard shuttle times were each tied for 4th fastest at the Combine.[13]

New Orleans Saints

Porter was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft. On June 25, 2008, the New Orleans Saints signed Porter to a four-year, $4.20 million contract.[25]

He played in five games during his rookie season before being placed on injured reserve after dislocating his wrist.

Late in the fourth quarter of the Saints' come-from-behind win in Week 7 of their 2009 season, Porter intercepted Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne on fourth and long; his 54-yard return resulted in a touchdown, sealing their win. Midway through the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship game on January 24, 2010, with the Minnesota Vikings already in the red zone and driving towards a score, Porter punched the ball out of the hands of Vikings WR Bernard Berrian; the fumble was recovered by the Saints. Later, with less than a minute left in regulation, and the Vikings almost within range of a game-winning field goal, Porter intercepted a pass from Viking's quarterback Brett Favre, sending the game to overtime. The Saints later prevailed with a final score of 31-28.

Late in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLIV against the Indianapolis Colts with the Colts in Saints' territory, Tracy Porter jumped Colts WR Reggie Wayne's route and intercepted Peyton Manning's pass, returning it 74-yards for a touchdown. The score ended the Colts' hopes of a comeback and sealed New Orleans' first Super Bowl victory. In interviews after the game, Porter credited his pick to film study of the Colts' season. "I'd seen it over and over -- third down," Porter said. "That was a big route for them to convert on. Through the numerous amounts of film study that we've done all week in preparing for the Super Bowl... it all happened just like I was watching it on film. I made the break on it, and here comes the end zone."[3]

In the aftermath of the Super Bowl win, Porter was honored by his home town, Port Allen, which first jokingly renamed the city "Porter Allen" for a day in his honor,[11][12] then later named a street after him.[13]

Denver Broncos

On March 22, 2012, Porter signed a one-year, $4.00 million contract with the Denver Broncos.[25][7] In his first game as a Bronco, Porter returned an interception off Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for a touchdown to seal the Broncos' opening day victory.[94] He then won the AFC Defensive Player of the Week award for his performance. However, prior to the Broncos' Week 6 game at the San Diego Chargers, he experienced aftereffects from a seizure that he suffered during the preseason. Porter returned to practice on a limited basis over the next several weeks,[92] and later returned to game action late in the regular season, only to suffer a concussion and miss the playoffs.[13]

Oakland Raiders

On April 1, 2013, the Oakland Raiders signed Porter to a one-year, $1.50 million contract.[25][13] In a game against the New York Giants on November 10, 2013, Porter became the first player in NFL history to return an interception for a touchdown against both Peyton and Eli Manning.[13]

Washington Redskins

On March 13, 2014, Porter was signed by the Washington Redskins to a two-year, $6.25 million contract.[25][13][13] Porter was placed on injured reserve on November 26, 2014.[13] On May 27, 2015, Porter was released.[13]

Chicago Bears

On June 8, 2015, Porter signed a one-year, $870,000 free agent contract with the Chicago Bears.[25][13]

On March 9, 2016, the Chicago Bears signed Porter to a three-year, $12.00 million contract with $4.25 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $900,000.[25][13][13]

On April 10, 2017, Porter was released by the Bears after they had signed free agents Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper.[26]

NFL statistics

YearTeamGamesTacklesFumblesInterceptions
GGSCombTotalAstSackFFFRYdsINTYdsAvgLngTDPD
2008NO55252321.000012525.02505
2009NO1211574890.020047218.054112
2010NO12126045150.0012155.0506
2011NO14115242100.02101-7-7.0-709
2012DEN64211650.000014343.04316
2013OAK16166753141.500024422.043112
2014WAS315320.0000000.0001
2015CHI1413353410.0100122.02012
2016CHI1615484530.010022814.02509
Career9888370309612.5620132129.454372

[20]

Key

  • G: games played
  • GS: games started
  • Comb: combined tackles
  • Total: total tackles
  • Ast: assisted tackles
  • Sack: sacks
  • FF: forced fumbles
  • FR: fumble recoveries
  • Yds: yards
  • INT: interceptions
  • AVG IR: average interception return
  • Lng: longest interception return
  • TD: interceptions returned for touchdown
  • PD: passes defensed