Robin Hood famously (and likely fictitiously) stole from the rich in order to aid the poor. He and Marx both held the same underlying belief that the world was better off with everyone closer to the mean, drawing the outliers toward the middle. In trading Julian Peterson to the Lions, Tim Ruskell put on his feathered cap and went to work stealing from the linebacking corps to aid the proletariat defensive line.
You may think I'm off my rocker, but at least I didn't compare Peterson/Hill/Tatupu to Bell Biv DeVoe. Jerry Brewer of the Times did, but he also made some interesting points:
The Seahawks didn't make this move to save money or improve their overall talent level. They did it to redistribute their defense in a more even manner, hoping that better D-line play will stabilize the unit.
And they still have Tatupu and Hill around to ensure the linebackers remain one of this team's primary strengths.
Brewer even started to make the case that linebackers are somewhat fungible:
If the Seahawks had a top-10 defense, you could've made a case for them to keep Peterson, Tatupu and Hill together. But as the league's third-worst defense last season, it's an unnecessary luxury to pay top dollar for three linebackers, perhaps the most easily replaceable position in football, when the rest of the D needs a jolt.
Does it make sense play Robin Hood amongst a team's units? While I suspect the answer is "Yes", we at least have another question to ponder for 2009.