Source: Bears eye Lofa Tatupu

Updated: August 3, 2011, 10:20 AM ET
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com

There is a mutual interest between the Chicago Bears and free agent linebacker Lofa Tatupu, according to a league source.

Tatupu, who was released by the Seattle Seahawks over the weekend, has visited the Oakland Raiders and has a meeting planned with the Washington Redskins.

Tatupu has a strong Bears connection. Assistant general manager Tim Ruskell drafted Tatupu out of USC in 2005 when Ruskell was the general manager of the Seahawks. It's uncertain where Tatupu, who was a middle linebacker during his six-year career with the Seahawks, would potentially fit with the Bears, who have Brian Urlacher firmly entrenched in the position.

Tatupu met with coach Pete Carroll on Saturday night and asked for his release after the Seahawks asked him to take a pay cut, ESPN sources said. Tatupu was then cut by Seattle on Sunday morning.

Tatupu, 28, is a three-time Pro Bowler and played a major role in taking the Seahawks to their only Super Bowl appearance during his rookie season in 2005.

But he struggled with injuries the past few seasons and has seen a decline in production. He missed most of 2009 after tearing a pectoral muscle. Last season he played in all 16 games, but his 88 tackles were the lowest of his career in a full season, and he needed surgery on both knees in the offseason. Tatupu's prime was his first few seasons when he recorded more than 100 tackles and went to the Pro Bowl each year between 2005-07.

Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

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