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Originally published Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 5:14 PM

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Matt Hasselbeck, Antonio Cromartie take shots via Twitter

Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie go at it on Twitter over NFL labor situation.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Matt Hasselbeck's question about Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie was pointed.

"Somebody ask Cromartie if he knows what CBA stands for," Hasselbeck posted via his Twitter account, a remark he later deleted.

Cromartie's response got personal: "I will smash ur face in."

That not-so-social media exchange via Twitter on Thursday stemmed from Cromartie's repeated public questioning of the leadership of the NFL Players Association this week.

Cromartie, who is scheduled to be a free agent, called union leader DeMaurice Smith a crass name. He used the same term to talk about the owners' negotiators. He criticized their inability to reach an agreement on a new labor deal and dismissed statements from Baltimore's Ray Lewis and Arizona's Darnell Dockett about player solidarity.

On Thursday, Hasselbeck posted on his Twitter account: "Somebody ask Cromartie if he knows what CBA stands for," referring to the collective bargaining agreement. The agreement that governs the working arrangement in the league will expire March 4. If the union and ownership don't negotiate a new agreement, the NFL could begin its first work stoppage since 1987.

Hasselbeck is the second alternate among Seattle's three union reps.

It was unclear how long the comment was posted before being deleted. But Cromartie heard about it.

"Hey Matt if u have something to (say) then say it be a man about it. Don't erase it," read a post to Cromartie's Twitter account. "I will smash ur face in."

Hasselbeck responded via Twitter within an hour: "Sorry for the joke man. No hard feelings. DB's & QB's have a hard time getting along I guess sometimes. lol"

The whole thing did generate some laughs. Former Seahawks teammates Walter Jones and Darryl Tapp each chimed in via Twitter, poking fun at Hasselbeck.

Note

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• Middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on both knees Thursday. Tatupu missed several practices throughout the season due to his ailing knees, but they never forced him to miss a game.

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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