A day after the Seattle Seahawks asked him to take a reduction in pay, veteran linebacker Lofa Tatupu skipped practice to mull over his decision to take the offer or ask for his release.
And the answer appears to be the Tatupu will be moving on, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the 28-year-old has asked the team for his release, and the Seahawks will reluctantly comply with his request.
The team has not confirmed the report.
But if true, the move brings to a close an impressive, six-year career with the Seahawks for Tatupu, who made the Pro Bowl his first three years in the league, and helped Seattle reached the Super Bowl in the 2005 season.
Tatupu also was the first Seahawks to lead the team in tackle in four consecutive seasons, from 2005 to 2008.
However, injuries had slowed him of late, with Tatupu playing all 16 games for the first time in three seasons last year. Tatupu also had surgeries on both knees in January.
Tatupu has five years and more than $25 million remaining on his contract, which includes a $4.35 million base salary.
David Hawthorne likely will slide over to middle linebacker, with rookie Malcolm Smith and veteran LeRoy Hill possible candidate to take over for the spot vacated by Hawthorne at outside linebacker.
It appears players got word of Tatupu’s decision late Saturday.
“Lost a soldier tonight. He will be Greatly missed. #thebusiness,” said fullback Michael Robinson via twitter.
“Cold Business,” tweeted rookie linebacker Malcolm Smith.
With Tatupu’s apparent departure, only Marcus Trufant and Hill remain from the 2005 Super Bowl team.