Tatupu limps away after giving Seahawks his knees and heart

At times like these, it seems the location of  Seattle Seahawks headquarters on the shore of Lake Washington would make a special tribute possible.

I could imagine Sunday afternoon the players getting an old row boat, erecting a mast, and making a sail out of a “51” jersey. They could shove it out to “sea” and somebody could throw in a flaming football to set it ablaze.

Because if there was anybody around here whose career warranted a ceremonial viking burial it was Lofa Tatupu, linebacker/leader/warrior chief.

According to the release from the Seahawks, the team and Tatupu “mutually parted ways” on Sunday. The team asked him to take a pay cut and he asked for his release in response.

Tatupu is the second fan favorite to see his Seattle career end this week, joining quarterback Matt Hasselbeck as a recent high-profile discard.

Tatupu gave the fans plenty to like.

Here was an undersized guy who became a true leader of this team the minute he stepped on the field. Seriously. Some Seahawks players marveled at how his presence and instincts set him apart on his very first day. He stepped on the field and immediately knew where everyone was supposed to be.

Respected around the league, he was voted to three Pro Bowls.

But the admiration for him was greatest in the locker room. There was no member of the Seahawks more reluctant to talk about himself or more eager to talk about a teammate.

Lofa Tatupu was all about the team.