Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Alexander's Back!

If this were a Final Jeopardy "answer", would the question be:

A. What was the location of the alleged stab wound at the end of the season?
B. What will Shaun be lounging on this summer while the rest of the Sehawks are in training camp?
C. What have Seahawks fans been jumping down for the past 3 months?
D. What two words could be good news for the Seahawks 2005 Season?

Never being one to shrink from a challenge, I decided to take the bait in the Shout Out section, and post a thread supporting the distinct possibility that Shaun Alexander could still be Seahawks property on when the 2005 season kicks off.

I'm not a stat hound, so I'm not going to prattle on about 1600+ yards, and 20 TDs and almost 5 yards/carry average, or the fact that he's been a very durable back for the past 5 years.

Looking at it from a reality stand-point, there really aren't too many places he can go, anywhere he goes he's going to demand a big salary, and many teams don't want to take a chance on him until they see what he's really made of. Coming back to the Seahawks and having another ProBowl year will convince these teams that he's worth what he's asking.

Looking a little closer and SA vs. FO, you have a classic definition of at loggerheads, mexican stand-off or conundrum.

As possible trade opportunities continue to evaporate, and with other "keepers" like Hutchinson entering their contract years, it's not likely that the FO is going to throw the long term deal as SA that he craves. Not to mention that whatever cap money is left right now is earmarked to fixing the defense or allocated to the draft.

However, Shaun's gotta know that even though there's a tremendous risk of injury, he has to play this coming season, if he hopes to land a big payday at the end of next year. The likelihood of there being a RB glut in the market next season is somewhat less, and if he holds out the entire year, he'll be perceived as even more of a risk and a prima donna.

To use the classic line from Cool Hand Luke, "what we have here is a failure to communicate!" Both sides are going to have to realize that they really need the other, at least for one more year, and eat a little crow.

The front office has extend an olive branch, and soon, before his attitude toward the team is irreversible, and let him know he's a vital and valuable part of the 2005 plans.

Shaun has to realize that he's got to take the same approach to 2005 as he did to 2004, that this is another "contract year" and he's on a 16 game interview with his next employer.

And if he truly wants to improve his opportunities, as well as his skills, he'll hear the criticisms launched by the pundits, and work on his blocking and route running skills, to prove to the other 31 teams that he's a "complete" back, and not just a "sweep left" kind of guy.

If Ruskell can pull a rabbit out of his ass...errr...hat and somehow get Shaun on the field, with his head screwed on right, and determined to prove everyone that he's perfected his game, and worth the big contract and signing bonus, then it could be the classic win-win situation.

And "Alexander's Back" may just be the most unlikely answer to the question:

What carried the Seahawks into Superbowl XL?

OK Monkey, how'd I do?

(And JoshFromKent, did you notice I'm not stealing bandwidth?)


  1. Ya done good alba! Just what I've come to expect.

  2. steven alworth3/23/2005 07:14:00 PM

    Alba knows his stuff. Shauns options are not as many as he expected, I have a feeling we will sign him to a deal. I think the master of cap space will get it done. That's the only point I disagree on, otherwise...awesome post

  3. Personally I would not be overly disapointed if Shaun Alexander did not return next season. His antics following the final game of the season we're very disapointing, and it showed a strong sense of selfishness to complain about a personal rushing title only minutes after your team just won a division title. To insinuate that Coach Holmgren stabbed him in the back was absolutely ludicrous, as Holmgren was only looking for the best way to cross the goaline. Shaun had already had two fumbles around the goaline in previous weeks and Hasselbeck has proven pretty reliable when called on to get a first down or a touchdown.

    Shaun's comments and actions following the Atlanta game simply added another distraction that the team had to deal with at that point in time. They already had the constant problems with Koren, the crippling injuries on the defensive side of the ball, and a troubling tendency of surrendering leads late in the ballgame to think about. Shaun's words only created another unneeded distraction.

    Reports in the TNT have stated that Shaun has grown frustrated with the Seahawks and has asked for a trade. A disgruntled Shaun Alexander will only give the Hawks a distraction they will have to deal with throughout next season, and it will also come in conflict with Ruskell's new policy of every player buying into the team concept. Shaun's discontent will only grow deeper as Coach Holmgren plans to pass the ball more, as an online report revealed his desire to move closer to his ideal pass/run ratio of 60/40.

    A Shaun Alexander who is both unhappy in being here and unhappy about his touches will only hold this team back just when the front office seems to be moving it in the right direction. Anthony Thomas is still available and the draft is dripping with running backs, so no Shaun Alexander next year won't hurt us as much as some might fear.

  4. This exercise in debate may be closer to the truth than I realized: Check out the piece on Alexander in today's Trib.

  5. One thing nobody seems to mention, Martin won the rushing title after the Seattle game was over. The Jets game went into OT, and Martin ripped a 20 yd run on their last possesion. Also, Alexander ran 80 yards, Martin ran 153 yards. If Holmgren was thinking about the rushing title, and the one yard back stab, he probably wasn't considering that Martin was going to blow up. I would be willing to bet that that is a reason Shaun was quick to appologize. I bet he signs before the first preseason game, or they remove the tag. Josh, not from Kent...

  6. There will be nothing signed or officially negotiated until after July 15th! The black-out for resigning FA, without loss of the Franchise Tag, is from March 15th to July 15th. If Seattle was to sign Shaun to a five year deal before July 15th, they would lose the use of the franchise until the end of Shaun's contract (5-yrs). This will not happen the FO will not surrender the TAG, it is too much of an insurance policy against losing your best players without compensation. It would be possible for Shaun to sign following July 15th, but he would indeed miss the off-season program. One thing that I'm not sure of is: What happens if Shaun signs the 1-year tender before July 15th? Does anyone know FOR SURE? Lastly – it’s good to see some new names on the posts. Geoff did a great job with his take!

    BTW - Blue, I preferred the swooshing football on the header versus just the logo!

  7. JoshNot - while you have your Jets stats correct, you have the timing all wrong. The Jets played the early game, so while it did go into OT, and Martin did have a monster game to nudge ahead of Sir Shaun, their game was well over by the time of the QB sneak call in our game, so Shaun COULD have gotten the record or a share thereof with that play.

    SBL - I believe Shaun can sign his one-year tender without adversley effecting our use of the Franchise tag in future years, but all this would mean is that he can then be fined for sitting out pre-season workouts and/or training camp.

    We cannot sign him to a long-term deal until after July 15th, or we'd lose the Frannie tag for the length of that LT deal.

    Now, if a deal was reached in principle, I think SA could sign his tender, just to get in and get the practice time, while waiting to "consumate" the deal after July 15th.

    However he'd be doing that at great risk, as there would be nothing binding the Seahawks to honoring it if he got hurt in said practice, so I don't see that happening.

    He'll either work something out with another team for a draft-day trade, or sign with us after July 15th.

  8. SA is staying in Seattle for the year...there isn't any takers, and although SA had the better year, and may even be a better player, the Edge would be traded first, and I do think he will be traded, unlike SA

    simply put, not enough suitors

    it wouldnt be a bad idea for SA to come back, anyways as he will be a free agent in his prime AGAIN, and he has a chance to repeat last season with our o-line staying in tact...

    this is good for both sides for THIS YEAR...then we need to part ways

  9. Shonuff: LOL, I get it!

    Anonymous: alba's right. Didn't you watch the game? The color guys were making a big deal about the 1 yard, and getting the ball back in Seattle's hands before time ran out.

    They completely took Shaun's side of the issue.

  10. Bluefoot, didn't watch the game, I am in SC. I could have sworn they were both late games, but checked on, Alba is right. Too many cervezas that day and since I guess. I did watch the Jets/Rams game... Anyhow, I think Shaun stays with us with a contract after the 15th. His comments in the paper today seemed pretty calm, Homgren seemed calm on Total Access, just a matter of cap manipulation. Josh not from Kent, and not the other Josh either, Josh from SC.

  11. Gotta disagree withya Anon, a one year and gone contract is the way to go with Shaun if we can't dump him. He's not a good fit for the offense, and if he sits out camps, his playing isn't going to improvement on recieving, no improvemnet on blitz pickups and no improvement on his running style, so that tells me he still will be expendable next season.

    Especially if he sits out the off season.

  12. Vin, his running style doesn't need improvement. It's fine the way it is.

    His blocking improved during the season last year, no reason to expect it won't do the same this year.

    His receiving does need work. Do you have a stat on how often he was thrown to vs. how many receptions he has?

  13. well all i have to say about SA is that he is not a team player so why do we need him in seattle. With our o line we can have a good back and still run for 1000 yrds just enough to open up the passing game. SO WHO CARES IF HE COMES BACK. I DONT I WANT A BACK THAT IS ALL ABOUT THE TEAM AND THERE AINT NO I IN TEAM

  14. Well Anon, bad grammar and double negatives aside, saying that any back could get 1000 yards behind our line is not based in fact. And saying Shaun is not a team player is also completely off base. Shaun misspoke once, beyond that he's been completely about our team for his entire career.

  15. well i see it like this Shaun comment at the end of the year tell me his true feelings. So that is why i said he is not a team player.He might not say to much but that statement says everything.