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Seahawks Blog

Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.



July 31, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Seahawks release Lofa Tatupu

Posted by Danny O'Neil

The Seahawks have released linebacker Lofa Tatupu, letting go of the three-time Pro Bowler and five-year captain.

Tatupu, 28, was asked to take a pay cut. Instead, he requested his release.

A second-round draft pick in 2005, Tatupu was a starter from his first game as a Seahawk and quickly became the nerve center for Seattle's defense.

Tatupu, 28, reached the Pro Bowl the first three years, but has suffered injuries the previous three seasons. In 2008, he suffered a broken thumb in the first half of the first game, and later in the year played despite needing his knee to be drained. He suffered a hamstring injury early in 2009 and then in his fifth game, suffered a season-ending injury, a torn pectoral muscle. He started all 16 games last season, but underwent surgery on both knees after the year.

Tatupu was asked by the team to accept a pay cut in a contract that called for him to make more than $4 million in 2011. He declined.

It wasn't just the pay cut, though. Tatupu was also concerned by reports Seattle had pursued other linebackers, including Takeo Spikes, who presumably would have played his position.

The issue wasn't that Seattle was investigating alternatives, but that after striking out on acquiring a replacement, the Seahawks came back to sell him on the idea of staying put with a pay cut.

David Hawthorne will move to middle linebacker, and Leroy Hill will step in at the weakside linebacker, the spot Hawthorne played last year.

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