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Lofa Tatupu, Atlanta Falcons part ways after injury


The Atlanta Falcons released Lofa Tatupu on Wednesday, one day after they announced the veteran linebacker would miss the entire 2012 season with a torn pectoral muscle that he suffered while lifting weights.

Tatupu will receive an injury settlement, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported before the team's announcement. Terms of the settlement weren't disclosed in Ledbetter's report.

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Tatupu, who underwent surgery Tuesday, signed a two-year, $3.6 million contract that included $600,000 in guaranteed money in March. According to a source with knowledge of Tatupu's contract, it included a "split" for the 2012 season. A "split" allows a team to pay players at a reduced base salary should they be placed on a list other than the active roster. Tatupu's split was for $400,000 and might be close to the agreed-upon terms of the settlement.

To replace Tatupu, the Falcons re-signed veteran linebacker Mike Peterson to a one-year, $990,000 contract Monday. Ledbetter reported that the Falcons also have added wide receiver Tim Toone and defensive tackle Elisha Joseph to their roster.

Tatupu, who had spent all six seasons of his NFL career with the Seattle Seahawks, said in July that he considered retiring after his tenure with that team ended in a string of injuries. But the Falcons offered him a second chance.

Tatupu made the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons in the NFL.


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