With David Hawthorne becoming an unrestricted free agent and Leroy Hill being arrested on counts of marijuana possession, the Seahawks linebacker corps looks like the biggest question mark heading into the 2012 offseason. Because of this, the Seahawks may be interested in bringing back Lofa Tatupu, who was the staple of their defense from 2005-2010.
As you may remember, Tatupu was cut before the 2011 season for refusing to take a pay cut. Although he was looked at as an option by multiple teams after his release, he spent the entire 2011 season at home. Many people including myself believe this is because his demands money and contract wise were too much for any potential suitor. Tatupu is only 29-years-old and I believe he still has the fire to be a force in the NFL, if he can stay healthy.
I believe the Seahawks should take a good long look at Tatupu this offseason, especially if we are unable to retain Hawthorne and/or Hill. After sitting at home, Tatupu may now understand he is not worth what he originally thought and he would be willing to accept a reduced salary. Tatupu also brings excellent veteran leadership and is already familiar with Coach Gus Bradley’s defensive system.
There are a couple of red flags however, primarily his inability to stay healthy. Between 2008 and 2009, Tatupu missed 12 games due to injury and when he returned, many fans including myself could tell his play had declined. Tatupu was also arrested in 2008 for DUI.
I believe we should definitely take a look at Tatupu and seriously consider bringing him back. I don’t expect him to be the three-time Pro Bowler he was early in his career and I don’t think he would even be a starter with the Seahawks, but if we lose Hawthorne and Hill, there is no doubt we will need linebacker depth, and who better to bring in then a guy who knows the system, is a great leader on and off the field, and a guy who after signing a contract extension in 2008, stated “I’m going to end my career with the Seahawks?”