Seahawks coach Pete Carroll isn’t ruling out the possibility of linebacker Lofa Tatupu returning to the team.
“We talked that way when he left, you know, that you never know what’s going to happen here. We kind of laughed about that — the reality of the possibility,” Carroll told Mike Salk and Dave Wyman on Tuesday. “So, we’ll see how it goes. He has some opportunities; he’s weighing them and determining which is the right one for him and all that. So, we’ll see how this goes. But there is always a very special place in my heart for Lofa Tatupu. He’s a great kid and a great football player and a guy that we love.
“So, we’ll see what happens downs the road here.”
The Seahawks released Tatupu four days into training camp after he reportedly declined to restructure his contract, which was scheduled to pay him more than $4 million this season.
Carroll, who coached Tatupu at USC, said he and Tatupu had a “very sincere, serious” conversation and reached a mutual and amicable agreement to part ways.
“I wanted Lofa to be here. I wanted him to stay here and be with us,” Carroll said. “He asked, as we went through the conversation, if we could come to an agreement on what he felt would be the best for his future. And that’s what I went with. We mutually agreed to put him in a position where he could take a look around the league and all that.”
Two weeks after his release, Tatupu is still unsigned. ESPN’s John Clayton told 710 ESPN Seattle last week that the Bears and Raiders were interested in the former Pro Bowl linebacker.
Tatupu’s absence left the Seahawks without a great deal of depth at linebacker. Behind projected starters David Hawthorne, Aaron Curry and Leroy Hill, four of the team’s other six linebackers are rookies. Hill, who signed a one-year deal to return to the Seahawks, played in one game in 2010 before going on IR with an Achilles injury and hasn’t played 16 games in any of his six NFL seasons.