SEATTLE - So much for some of the Seahawks' identity: play-making, ultra-rich linebackers.
Seattle traded away its only Pro Bowl player from last season on Saturday, sending outside linebacker Julian Peterson to the Detroit Lions for big defensive tackle Cory Redding and a fifth-round pick in next month's draft.
The deal came days after Peterson reportedly refused the Seahawks' request to reduce his 2009 salary of $6.5 million.
It also came less than two months after Seahawks president Tim Ruskell sounded OK with having more than $20 million against this year's salary cap committed to Peterson and fellow linebackers Leroy Hill and Lofa Tatupu.
"It's unusual, but if that is one of the strengths of your team or your defense, then that is your identity. Maybe that means you can't go with as many guys getting paid on the defensive line or in the secondary," Ruskell said in January.
Instead, that defensive line will also be getting paid.
The 28-year-old Redding is scheduled to have a salary of $3.3 million this year. A college star at Texas, he was Detroit's third-round pick in 2003. He is entering the third season of a seven-year contract worth nearly $50 million the Lions gave him in 2007.
Agent Kennard McGuire did not respond to inquiries on whether Redding had his contract restructured as a condition of the Seahawks acquiring him.
Earlier this month, the Seahawks gave free-agent defensive tackle Colin Cole, recently a reserve with Green Bay, $21.4 million over five years with $6 million guaranteed.
Seattle had already satisfied its first offseason priorities by designating Hill its franchise player for 2009 at a guaranteed $8.3 million and by signing T.J. Houshmandzadeh, the top wide receiver on the free agent market, to a $40 million deal for five years, with $15 million guaranteed.
Hill and the team are trying to get a long-term deal done, but agent Todd France has said the two sides aren't close.
There is currently no speedy, pass-rushing heir apparent in Seattle to play opposite Hill. So Saturday's deal hints the Seahawks may be targeting an outside linebacker for their the fourth overall choice in April's draft.
The 6-foot-4, 295-pound Redding had a career-high eight sacks in 2006. But he had only one sack in 2007 and three last season as a team leader of the winless Lions - the NFL's first 0-16 season.
Hill is 26 and was a third-round choice in Ruskell's first draft with the Seahawks in 2005, and the Seahawks essentially chose him over Peterson.