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Lofa Tatupu: Ruud 2.0?

They even wear the same number.
They even wear the same number.

Because the only other name of interest has been Stanford Routt so far, Lofa Tatupu qualifies as big news, so let's take the time to get a better look at him.

Mosiula Mea'alofa Tatupu was a really solid piece on the Seahawks teams of the mid-late 2000's and for this he earned himself three straight trips to Hawaii and an All-Pro selection in 2007. For his first three or four years, Tatupu was a model of consistency and durability for Seattle, missing only one game and recording over 90 tackles in all four seasons. However, a torn pectoral muscle soon derailed the start of a very promising career with the Seahawks.

The torn pec caused him to miss eleven games in 2009 and, even though he played all sixteen again in 2010, his level of play wasn't nearly what it had been. He went from being one of the premier inside linebackers in football to, despite being named team captain, getting cut by his former college coach, Pete Carroll. Doesn't get much worse than that.

In any case, what I see when I look at Tatupu is just another Barrett Ruud experiment, plus an injury concern. Tatupu just isn't the same player he was before the injury, it's not going to work out in the NFL if you're tentative and undersized like he's looked. I understand that after a serious injury that there is an allotted amount of time before you're back to full speed, but waiting on Tatupu to come in right away and play is not something that I think the team needs right now.

All that being said, I think experience counts for something in the NFL, and Tatupu is a player who has plenty of that to offer. He brings an interesting perspective having dealt with the harsh realities of the NFL. Here's a player who was at the top and now is just trying to make it back into football. By all accounts, he's a positive force in the locker room, he's been named team captain multiple times during his tenure in Seattle. Perhaps it would be a good idea from a development standpoint. We all seem to think we've got something here in Colin McCarthy, having a guy like Tatupu to learn from could prove to be invaluable. At the end of the day, I'm not really too keen on the idea of Lofa coming to Tennessee unless it's for something that's barely over league minimum or a very incentive-heavy deal. I foresee Ruud-like struggles that could cost this team valuable wins, as I expect the Titans to absolutely be in the playoff hunt next year. I like that he's got some intangible value, but that only goes so far when you're trying to build a competitive team.