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Seahawks Trade Safety Eugene Robinson to Packers for Matt LaBounty

June 28, 1996 GMT

KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP) _ After 11 years with the Seattle Seahawks, safety Eugene Robinson was shocked when he was traded to the Green Bay Packers for defensive end Matt LaBounty.

But he said he can handle it.

``Trust me. It is OK. It’s palatable. I can take it. It may cut a little bit, but it’s all right,″ Robinson said.

The 6-foot, 195-pound Robinson had been with the Seahawks since signing out of Colgate as a free agent in 1985. He has been Seattle’s defensive captain the last four seasons and ranks second in team history with 42 career interceptions.

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He was the NFL co-leader in interceptions in 1992 with nine and made the first of two consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl that year.

Robinson, 33, was selected the Seahawks’ Most Valuable Player in 1991 and 1993.

``I’m a Seattle Seahawk,″ Robinson said. ``If the opportunity ever comes for me to be back in the organization, I’d love to do that.″

LaBounty, 6-foot-4 and 278 pounds, is entering his fourth NFL season. He played the last 14 games of the 1995 season for the Packers, starting twice at defensive end and seeing action at defensive tackle.

He was drafted out of Oregon in 1992 by the San Francisco 49ers and spent his first season with the 49ers practice squad. He played six games with San Francisco in 1993 before being claimed on waivers by Green Bay. He missed the 1994 season with a back injury.

Robinson’s trade was rumored for some time. The Seahawks wanted him to take a cut in pay _ from $1.2 million a year to $300,000 _ for the 1996 season. He became expendable with the addition of free-agent safety Darryl Williams. Williams will earn $1.7 million next season and Robert Blackmon, another safety, $1.5 million.

Randy Mueller, the Seahawks’ vice president of football operations, said the club had to trade Robinson because of the financial limitations imposed by the salary cap.

``This is a prime example of what the salary cap does for you,″ Mueller said.

``Older veterans in the twilight of their career pay the price.″