View Full Version : Seahawks release former MVP running back Shaun Alexander

04-22-2008, 10:57 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080423/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_seahawks_alexander;_ylt=AsLKYONad4I05NYAP2.hU5 gLMxIF

By GREGG BELL, AP Sports Writer 1 hour, 50 minutes ago

KIRKLAND, Wash. - The Seattle Seahawks released former MVP Shaun Alexander, just 26 months after he signed a $62 million contract as the franchise's cornerstone.

Seahawks president Tim Ruskell said Tuesday the team released Alexander unconditionally hours after the running back passed a physical. It's been a rapid fall for the 30-year-old. When he signed that mammoth deal, he was coming off an MVP season in 2005 and a Super Bowl appearance. Now he's looking for work, coming off of two unimpressive and injury filled seasons.

"Yeah, it's sad, really," Ruskell said after announcing a move that had been expected in Seattle for six weeks, since the signings of free agent running backs Julius Jones and T.J. Duckett. "He's been such an upstanding guy through my whole tenure here. I don't think we have that Super Bowl run if it wasn't for Shaun.

"It shows you have tough this game is, how ever-changing it is, how you can't play forever. ... You just can't do it."

Alexander will try again in 2008. The three-time Pro Bowl runner, whose last two seasons have been his worst, said he is not retiring.

"I will be playing for another NFL team this fall, and doing everything I can to contribute," said Alexander, who ran for just 716 yards in 13 games last season his lowest total since he replaced Ricky Watters as Seattle's lead back in 2001.

"I am healthy, energized and looking forward to beginning the next chapter of my NFL career," he said.

"My family will remain in the Seattle area, and when my days in the NFL do eventually come to an end, I plan to retire here. Our hearts are woven into the fabric of this community, we are blessed to be part of it, and we enjoy contributing to it in every way we can. Thank you, Seattle."

The Seahawks were waiting for Alexander's broken left wrist to heal before releasing him. He played the final 15 games of the regular season plus January's playoffs wearing a cast on that. Tuesday morning doctors declared the 19th overall draft choice in 2000 fully healthy to participate in minicamps this spring.

Hours later, he was unemployed and released from the eight-year contract he signed weeks after the 2006 Super Bowl, which agent Jim Steiner at the time said was the richest ever for an NFL running back.

That season Alexander set an NFL record with 28 touchdowns and a franchise record with 1,880 yards rushing. Then he severely bruised his left foot while getting tackled in the 2006 opener. He kept playing on it and soon broke it, the first major injury of his football career, and missed six games. Last season, he broke his left wrist in Week 1. In November, he missed three games with a sprained left knee.

The cutback lanes he used to create began closing on him faster than he could run. His trademark hesitation, which used to deftly set up blocks, suddenly just invited defenders to swarm him in place and his home fans to boo him. Coach Mike Holmgren said the injuries and Alexander simply having nowhere to run were the reasons for his steep decline.

He was scheduled to earn $4,475,000 this season on a deal that many around the league questioned at the time it was signed because 30 is an age at running backs' have historically slipped sometimes dramatically.

"The contract was set up that you wanted to get at least three years," Ruskell said. "So we didn't get there. That part is disappointing.

"I thought because Shaun had not been injured through his career, playing the odds I said ... 'If you are going to bet on a guy, bet on a guy who's not been hurt or had that propensity.' That was the case with Shaun."

Ruskell said the Seahawks haven't decided whether to make Alexander a June 1 cut, which could save them money against this season's salary cap, or have all $6.9 million of his prorated signing bonus count this year by dating the transaction before June 1. Ruskell said Seattle is in good enough of a position under the cap to make the move in either manner.

"While it really isn't a surprise, this news marks a major transition in my life," Alexander said. "I started my NFL career in Seattle and hoped I could remain with the team through the rest of my days as a player. "That said, things change."

For both sides.

"This is one of the toughest decisions I'll ever have to make," Ruskell said. "By the same token, you have to be able to make these tough decisions. We wanted to change the dynamic of the running game, from top to bottom."

04-23-2008, 06:58 AM
Time to come home, Shaun.

04-23-2008, 07:26 AM
Time to come home, Shaun.


He is a local product and everything, but he is past the point of no return. If anything, I would take McFadden if he falls to us, and even if he doesn't, see what the Kenny's have to offer.

04-23-2008, 07:30 AM
Shaun Alexander > Rudi Johnson

04-23-2008, 08:16 AM
Just say no, Bengals.

They need some speed at running back. Not another slow guy.

04-23-2008, 09:49 AM
Just say no, Bengals.

They need some speed at running back. Not another slow guy.

Actually, wrong.

Dorsey, Watson, and Perry are all speed backs. What the Bengals need is a powerful inside runner in case Rudi is finished. I would take a chance on Shaun if he came cheap. Otherwise, I'd pass.

04-23-2008, 10:02 AM
I wouldn't really call Kenny Watson a speed back.

04-23-2008, 10:37 AM
I wouldn't really call Kenny Watson a speed back.

Well that's up for debate, but Dorsey and Perry certainly are. Here's an article posted today on Bengals.com that discusses how the Bengals need to target a bigger, power back because they have enough speed backs:


04-23-2008, 01:22 PM
What could it hurt? We can just cut him if he doesn't play well. It would be worth a shot IMO.

Danny Serafini
04-23-2008, 01:30 PM
I think I see a fork sticking out of Alexander's back. Power backs get used up quickly and fall off a cliff.

04-23-2008, 05:54 PM
Actually, wrong.

Dorsey, Watson, and Perry are all speed backs. What the Bengals need is a powerful inside runner in case Rudi is finished. I would take a chance on Shaun if he came cheap. Otherwise, I'd pass.

Dorsey is fragile. Watson isn't fast. And the last person I would count on is Chris Perry.

I just don't want a slow back like Rudi or Alexander.

04-23-2008, 05:56 PM
I wouldn't mind him with a non-guaranteed deal. We may be in some trouble with all the guaranteed money owed to Chad Johnson. I'd like it if we didn't get into those cap hit situations too often.

04-23-2008, 09:28 PM
Shaun Alexander > Rudi Johnson

In their primes, yes. Problem is, Alexander is past his prime, and Rudi likely is too.

Only way I address RB is if McFadden is on the board. I see LT comparisons.

04-23-2008, 10:05 PM
I would like to see someone replace Rudi, but I don't want it to be Alexander.

04-24-2008, 08:23 AM
Am I the only one who thinks the Bengals don't need to draft a running back? There are just much bigger needs, in my opinion. Granted, Rudi Johnson is no Pro Bowler, but I think the Bengals can wait one more year to replace him.

04-24-2008, 07:10 PM
He would be a nice #2 back for my Colts.

04-25-2008, 11:42 PM
Shaun Alexander > Rudi Johnson

While I agree, I'm not convinced that Alexander is better than our other RB options, but depth at a position is never a bad thing. Ever.

If we were to get Alexander, I would hope we could get something of value for Rudi Johnson.

05-09-2008, 01:50 PM
my coworker has heard that the Bengals are now in contract talks with Alexander.. he didnt tell me his source.. so its past the visit stage now!!

05-10-2008, 07:50 AM
Just say no Bengals!

I really, really don't want Alexander. The only positive I see is maybe they would release Rudi for him. But who's better right now? I choose neither. Signing Alexander seems pointless to me.