Lofa Tatupu is no longer with the Seattle Seahawks, and it's all because he refused to lose a couple of million dollars. It's the kind of issue that makes you really feel like football players have a lot in common with the rest of us. Danny O'Neil from the Seattle Times has more.
Tatupu signed a contract extension with Seattle in 2008 worth more than $40 million. The deal called for him to make more than $4 million this year in base salary, not a prohibitively high number. The team requested a pay cut of somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 million.
Tatupu was also concerned by reports Seattle had pursued other linebackers, including Takeo Spikes, who presumably would have played his position. The perception was that Seattle had tried to sign Tatupu's replacement, and when they struck out in that regard, tried to sell him on taking a pay cut because the Seahawks really wanted to keep him.
You really can't come to a moral judgment on whether Tatupu was right or wrong. Tatupu probably didn't deserve the same salary he was receiving currently from the Seahawks organization, but he also probably wasn't given much wiggle room to prove himself on the field either, particularly with Spikes likely in his position to take his spot. It'll be hard to see Tatupu finding great value on the market though--he'd only be useful in a 4-3 defense, and 4-3 linebackers seem easy to find (it's generally the base college defense) compared to 3-4 linebackers.
Pete Carroll hasn't been too nice to his old Trojan buds, has he?
For more on Seahawks free agency, I'd suggest a prescription of Field Gulls.