Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

21 Mar 2008

Seahawks Lock Up Lofa Tatupu For Six Years

Well, this should pretty much ensure Tatupu's status as a beloved sports figure in the Northwest. Not only does this deal guarantee that he'll spend at least the bulk of his career making plays in front of a rabid Seattle crowd, but as the article points out, he probably left money on the table so the team would have a better chance of signing Leroy Hill and Marcus Trufant to long-term deals.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 21 Mar 2008

15 comments, Last at 27 Mar 2008, 10:37am by Ben Roethlisberger


by Yaguar (not verified) :: Fri, 03/21/2008 - 3:47pm

Awesome move by the Seahawks. It helps free up cap space for all that dead money they're going to have going to Shaun Alexander.

by thestar5 (not verified) :: Fri, 03/21/2008 - 4:04pm

I hope the Cowboys could get Demarcus Ware signed to a deal similiar to this. They still got him for two more years though. I guess NFL temas think corners are much more valuable than LB's if Tatupu gets 40 million but a top corner can get 70 million.

by masoch (not verified) :: Fri, 03/21/2008 - 4:19pm


It's like a slice of heaven, and a Lofa Tatupu.

(line gratuitously stolen from some 'Hawks radio slogan contest or another)

by JasonK (not verified) :: Fri, 03/21/2008 - 4:32pm

Good move for the 'Hawks.


Ware is going to cost a lot more than Tatupu. Sure, CBs are usually more highly paid than 4-3 linebackers. But top-flight pass-rushing 3-4 OLBs are probably more valuable than either. Guys like Ware are more comparable to 4-3 DEs than they are to 4-3 MLBs like Tatupu. The money that Tatupu got won't even buy you a Justin Smith (6 yrs, $45M, $20M guar.), who isn't nearly as good a pass-rusher as Ware is.

by Jimmy (not verified) :: Fri, 03/21/2008 - 4:59pm

I don't buy that Taputu left a lot of money on the table. Briggs only got $13m guaranteed on $36m for six years. I thought the Bears got him cheap for the quality of player he is, but it seems his market was hampered because he wasn't really a pass rusher. Tatupu doesn't get all that many sacks either. I would have thought the Seahawks could have argued that Tatupu shouldn't get more than a two time All-Pro got from the Bears, considering neither player has sacks to point to as a calling card.

For my mind this is still a good move by the 'Hawks, but reinforces that Briggs' re-signing was a well judged move by Jerry Angelo.

by Reinahrd (not verified) :: Fri, 03/21/2008 - 5:04pm

I would conjecture that the talent distribution is thin for elite corners vs linebackers. First of all, you CANT be an elite corner without being exceptionally athletic, whereas linebacker there are many great ones who are too "small/slow/weak" but their instincts and technique more than compensate. And having a good corner who you can trust in man on man opens up a lot more of your playbook than having a good linebacker. Therefore top CBs get paid more.

by Reinahrd (not verified) :: Fri, 03/21/2008 - 5:06pm

"...thin at the top end of the spectrum"

by Doug Farrar :: Fri, 03/21/2008 - 5:06pm

Oh, thank heaven. If Seattle's front office thought it took a beating after the Steve Hutchinson debacle, letting Lofa Tatupu ever put on another jersey would have made that response look like a pleasant walk in the park.

by Dave (not verified) :: Fri, 03/21/2008 - 6:04pm

I'm also skeptical that Tatupu signed below-market. Peterson can crash the pocket; he *should* get more than Tatupu. Merriman and Ware are going to get way more than this... $16M guaranteed for a good middle backer sounds like a great day at the office for Tatupu's agent, not a sterling case of team-spiritedness by the guy for taking a below-market deal.

by bravehoptoad (not verified) :: Fri, 03/21/2008 - 6:21pm

Briggs would be in San Francisco right now if it weren't for the Bears blowing the whistle on tampering. I'm really curious to see where this goes, since all teams tamper. By being the first ones to actually "snitch," the Bears get to keep their guy, but how often do snitches regret it?

by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Sat, 03/22/2008 - 10:24pm

Good to know that DeMeco Ryans isn't going to break the bank next summer. Seems like a fair deal for both player and team.

by Tom D (not verified) :: Sun, 03/23/2008 - 5:28pm

Re 11:

Unless the Raider want him.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Mon, 03/24/2008 - 12:30am

#12 Good point, but isn't DeMeco a little too young, talented, and sane to be coveted by Al Davis? Give him about six years, a conviction or two, and maybe a "suspension for the good of the team" in Houston before he becomes an over-paid hot commodity in Oakland. Then we'll all scratch our heads at how he became the NFL's first $200 30 year-old MLB. Well, all of us except RJ.

by TGT (not verified) :: Mon, 03/24/2008 - 8:47am

Note to self, 30 year old linebackers are worth one day of meal money, or 200 Mcdonalds' Bags. So long as the Raiders play the Broncos, that should work out just fine for them.

by Ben Roethlisberger (not verified) :: Thu, 03/27/2008 - 10:37am

I don't get it.