Monday, July 04, 2005

S.A. WantsA LongA TermA ContractA

Shaun Alexander has made it loud and clear that he wants a long term deal, or he will sit out the season:

From the Times

Always one to speak his mind, Shaun Alexander's message came through loud and clear. He won't play unless he gets a long-term contract, but he remains confident that will happen.

Otherwise, Alexander is prepared to sit and wait, even into the regular season.

Alexander said signing the team's $6.32 million franchise tender is "out of the question." When asked if it will come down to not playing without a long-term deal, he replied, "Pretty much, yeah."

"I'm pretty strong about my principles," the Seahawks Pro Bowl running back said yesterday at the Adonai Hood Classic basketball tournament at Seattle's Garfield High School. "We're all under the same understanding. It's not like a bitter thing. I've told them that I love playing for Seattle. To me, it's not about money, it's just about a principle."

Alexander refuted any notion he and coach Mike Holmgren have a strained relationship, in part because Alexander fell 2 yards short of the NFL rushing title last season. Still he seems intent on standing fast, despite the fact he wants to be in Seattle and the team has expressed a desire to keep him. The Seahawks gave Alexander the franchise tag this offseason to keep him from becoming a free agent.

Alexander wanted to have his contract extended earlier in his career, he said.

"I told them three years ago that I love playing here and let's do something now. Let's meet," Alexander said. "It was just me and Mike [Holmgren]. There were no agents involved. I said, 'You know what? My wife's here. My family's here. I want to be here until I retire. It's really funny because back then I would have worked for peanuts.

This should be interesting...he sounds emphatic about wanting to be here...anyone buying it? Im starting to...


  1. see, you gotta love the media

    the ESPNs and SIs keep spreading that notion that SA and the FO dont like each other...then you hear that he is franchised...they want to trade him...he wants to stay, but the 'popular' media says he wants to bolt...

    i will always believe the Seattle papers over the ESPNs and SIs...but i cant help but be confused by this situation

    if what SA said was leads to more questions

    -is it the franchise that doesnt want him back?

    -is it because of the long term deal he wants?

    -will he come back anyways and play under the tag?

    -will there be a standoff come time for opening day?

    -is the FO even trying?

    -is the FO confident on trading him, or are they hoping he caves under the franchise tag?

    ahhhhhhhhhh mental braincells are popped (now i know what monkey feels like)

    -also, if Paul Allen truly wants this franchise cleaned with good character, then why are his Trailblazers really Jailblazeders? Is he just letting Ruskell do what he wants?

    im confuzzled

  2. I saw it last night too and posted it over at "the other site" I was to tuckered to work up all the links for here. Nice jump ADP.

    It could be that Shaun is just being politicaly correct, or should that be, Medialy correct?

    I doubt he is going to say, I won't play unless I get a long term and I would really like to play in Miami anyway. His agent has probably schooled him on what not to say after that fiasco last season.

    Now, on the other hand, him saying he won't sign the tender and will sit out until he gets a favorable long term contract is just asking for a stand off with Mikey. We all know what happened when Joey Galloway tried that crap.

    Mikey was way too stubborn and Joey left town. Sad part was that everybody in town turned on Joey, screaming that he signed a contract, when he was actually being paid pretty low by the standards of that time.

    Had Mikey found a center ground, Joey might have stayed and maybe we would have won a superbowl. who knows?
    My point is that if he is going to butt heads with Holms, Shaun will more than likely lose.

  3. I'm really starting to feel more confident that the Franchise doesn't believe that they 'need' Shaun to succeed.

    Mike's alreay made the comment that a team doesn't need a league leading rusher to get to the Super Bowl, and even 'said' that historically the leading rusher does not wind up in the Super Bowl.

    I have said all along the ability of this team to get to the Super Bowl does not lie in the running ability of SA, but in the ability of Matt and his Recievers to successfully execute Mikes play calling. In other words, they have got to 'catch the damn ball on third down'! 

    As ADP said, this will be very interesting. And enlightening. If I'm wrong about the team 'needing' Shaun then the deal will get done shortly after Mid-July, if not then Shaun is apparently headed out of Seattle in the near future, though I doubt it will be to Miami since they're talking to Ricky about coming back, and Shaun's not taking any playing time away from him any time soon.

    And sorry Max, but I agreed with the Joey move, the Hawks didn't have the money to tie up in the contract that Galloway wanted, which was why the fans 'turned on him', I don't really care for that view, since most fans thought Galloway let his abilities go to his head(sound familiar?). And I'd like to point out how he's done you think he'd have been worth a multi-year/deep pocket hitting contract? I don't.

    But you are right, this is a very similar situation, and as you said, one that will likely have the same outcome if Shaun doesn't adjust his principals a bit. (or at least check his ego at the door).

    I know many here will likely jump my sh*t for this analysis, but honestly I don't see the team falling over backwards to keep him if they have confidence in the ability of teh passing game to finally take off. And so far it seems they're pretty confident in Matt, the WRs, and the Defense. 

    Posted by vinnyhawkalugi

  4. Perhaps S.A. feels that after playing out his sub-value contract after 5 years, he deserves the consideration of oh... being payed what he's worth? Don't you want to be paid what your worth?
    He could have held out 2 or 3 years ago (like pretty much every other stud running back in the NFL, historically) but didn't, instead honoring his contract. Perhaps the FO should put their "good character" money where their mouth is.

    Posted by maomatt

  5. 6.3 mil for this season is underpaid?

  6. im trying to figure out the definition of 'long term'

    we can't pay him a huge salary for 5-7 that time, he probably wont even be close to worth it

    3-4 years would be perfect, but that doesnt really define 'long term contract'

    im just a little annoyed that the Seahawks FO didnt even offer him a least get a foundation in just in case...

  7. technically, if you think about it...Shaun Alexander made Boulware what he is...

    we by no means wouldn't of been a good team last year without Shaun, therefore by the time the 'clutch' INTs came into play, they probably wouldn't of mattered...therefore Michael Boulware wouldn't of become a cult hero already

    im a big believer that stats arent accurate enough because of schedules, injuries, trades...everything dominos from there...a WR might not get any yards, but it doesnt mean he sucks...he might of had bad luck playing with horrible QBs in his career...he could of been a Steve Largent or Jerry stats dont matter...

    what im saying is...everything people find important in sports are results of dominos falling...and Shaun is the main domino on our team

    thats not to say hes irreplaceable...but right now, hes a luxury we can afford

  8. Kind of refreshing to hear a player want to stay in Seattle...

    We might not need Shaun to succeed, especially if our players do their jobs. Look at Denver. They plug in anybody at HB and get production. However, if you're a defensive coordinator, who puts fear into you, SA or Maurice Morris. I vote for Shaun.

    Give him five years, pay him well. He'll be happy, and we stay in the elite of the NFC.

    One further note, Shaun claims to not have a strained relationship with Holmgren. Is anybody else not fully believing that? I mean, the back stabbing comment, the sitting out. It might not be a lot right now, but where there's smoke there's fire. 

    Posted by Alan

  9. The FO can't afford to give him the long term (5-6 yr) deal with huge signing bonus he's looking for. Running backs don't generally last that long and good young backs are coming into the league every year. Just look at this year's draft class.

    Shaun and his agent know this too, which is why he's looking for the LT deal, so that in case he's injured or his skills start to diminish, he's covered with a fatty contract for the rest of his usefull NFL life.

    The FO probably would like to sign him for 2-3 years, at a reasonable back loaded deal. This doesn't work for SA though, cuz if he gets hurt he's SOAL, and if he makes it the full 3 years, it'll be harder to get a long term deal as a 30+ year old RB.

    The bottom line is it's all posturing for the eventual July date when they can come back to the negotiating table.

    Unless some marquis back goes down in training camp, or we lose a marquis guy at another position and need to replace him, a trade is not going to happen.

    SA may be talking tough, but there's no such thing as "too much money", so once he starts losing pay checks for missing games, his "principles" will be re-evaluated, and he'll be playing for the Seahawks by the 2nd or 3rd week of the season.

    It's a high stakes poker game and both sides are waiting for the other to blink. I hate to see it deteriorate into a contenscious situation, but it looks like both sides are playing hardball from the start.

    Mike H. doesn't have as much organizational clout as he did when he stonewalled Galloway, but I can see the same hardline stance being taken with SA.


    Posted by alba

  10. Not always. There are things that aren't mentioned here, or anywhere else that I've seen that point to Shaun sincerely wanting to be in Seattle, and to his relationship with Mike being just fine. For instance, Shaun lives near Qwest field, and will drop in from time to time to say hello to the guys, to the staff, and occasionally to sit with Mike and chat. Considering the fact that Mike is no longer the GM, there really isn't a reason for Shaun to do this. Unless he's serious about wanting to be a Hawk.

    The biggest thing is that this situation cannot be boiled down to simply "does the FO want him" or "does he want to be here". Whenever money is involved in a salary cap sport, it gets complicated.

    I stand by my prediction that if the CBA gets worked out quickly, Shaun will sign a long term deal. If not, he will sign the one year tender. The talk about sitting out is posturing. Either way, I still think he retires a Hawk in the end.  

    Posted by PaulieP

  11. Backloaded deals usually suck for the team and for the player, they are only good for the agent. If the player is still good when all the backloading comes due then the team has to renegotiate or cut the player, leaving the player in control. If the player isn't producing at a high level, the FO can cut or restructure pretty easily. I think Shaun can play at his current level for 4 or 5 years, and I think that is the contract he signs. And he will sign by 1 Aug or before week 3, but the deal he signs will be the same or very close to the July 15th deal offered. He won't go checkless for long, not @ over 350K a pop.

    I now think the whole trade thing was a huge gamble by the FO, and it looks to have paid off. Shaun, you aren't even worth a 2nd round pick at this point in your career. Sorry, we'll sign you to a fair deal, but you aren't LT.

    And I stand by his stats, he is the best option available to us, and he is top 5 in talent for RBs active in the NFL now, system, schmystem.

    Basically I agree with Alba and Paulie mostly... and maomatt.

    Where the heck is monkey? 

    Posted by JoSCh

  12. By the by, great little section on this on  

    Posted by PaulieP

  13. For a 28-year old RB in his prime, sitting out this season could possibly be wasting one of his best years as a RB. Even if he did, next year looks to be a lot like this year as far as a flooded market and he would be facing the same situation. I think S.A. is too much of a goal oriented person to miss out on a possible record breaking season and I see him coming into camp probably midway through preseason. No way does he sit out a regular season game and lose his carries. If he did, he would only have himself to blame if he came up 2-yards shy of leading the league and you know that is still eating away at him.

    I'll admit that S.A. is a great back but if he wants L.T. money he needs to be able to catch like L.T. does. He can't be constantly taken out of the passing game on 3rd down and replaced by Mo and needs to do a better job at blocking. He improved last year but not enough to be considered the best RB in the league right now, top 10 yes.

    As for the Galloway situation, I think a line from Top Gun said it best when a Commanding officer was ripping Maverick for not landing his plane "Your ego is writing checks that your body can't cash." I think the injuries that Galloway had and his lack of production proved that Holmgren made the right call and I think our new FO will make the right call on this situation. They've done a good job so far. 

    Posted by SF Hawk

  14. "if he wants L.T. money he needs to be able to catch like L.T. does. "

    If he wants LT money he should be younger too... just saying.

    Why is it exactly that Shaun can't catch? I don't recall him dropping many, but I could be wrong. In 2002 he caught 59, that is LT numbers. Why doesn't he catch? Serious question, I don't know.  

    Posted by JoSCh

  15. hes not the greatest route runner, and he tends to catch with his fingers more then his hands...

    and yeh, he drops passes...its rare to notice because they dont throw it to him as much (obviously)

    but yeh, you know what i mean... 

    Posted by ADP

  16. So what was different in 2002? Did he catch better? WTF? I checked this  FFL website. It had him catching 59% of targets, which isn't good, but was only targeted 39 times. What was different in 2002? 

    Posted by JoSCh

  17. 2002 was S.A. first year as a starter. I think that was the difference. It's like when you start your new job, you try to go above and beyond. After that first year I think he focused more on the run. Just my take, only S.A. and the Seahawks know for sure. Again, he is a great back it's just that if I'm shelling out that much money I want a back that can do it all and do it great, especially in the West Coast Offense.  

    Posted by SF Hawk

  18. I imagine if he would work on catching better, we can use screen plays for once...and in a WCO, a screen play can be dangerous for the opponent, i doubt i have any need to say Marshall Faulkface (haha)

    unfortunately, the one season the coaches are going hard to stop drops, he isnt there 

    Posted by ADP

  19. Maybe he is? I hope so. I just wonder why the play calling doesn't target him much anymore, is it they don't trust him? It just seems odd that his target rate fell off so much after 2002. Also, FYI, he led the league in RB redzone pass targets @ 4, tied with the Whizzinator.

    I know he catches ok in Madden :-D 

    Posted by JoSCh

  20. Interesting info off of regarding the signing of and use of the franchise tender:
    Looming over everything else is the Alexander situation. If he doesn't sign the franchise tag, they can't negotiate a new deal. If he doesn't sign it, they lose the tag for a year. If they were to sign him to a five-year deal in lieu of the tag, they would lose the franchise tag for five years.

    "'That's what people don't understand,' Reinfeldt said. 'He has to sign the tender before we can do anything, before he can do anything. The franchise tag is too important for the (financial health of the) team to lose. And even if he signs the tag, there has to be a cooling off period before we can do a long-term deal, otherwise the union will file a grievance and that can get ugly.'"

    I wasn't aware of this. I thought that he could sign a long term deal regardless of the tender, or that he could sign the tender and then immediately change it for the long term deal. This adds a few new dimensions to the discussion. 

    Posted by PaulieP

  21. I gotta go read the full story now, but I too didn't realize the need for this "cooling off period".

    I thought they could renegotiate with him after July 15th regardless of whether he signed his tender or not. And then if they reached an agreement, the signing of the tender would be just pro-forma, and then he'd immediately sign the longer term deal.

    I did know that if we signed him to a LTD before July 15th, that we would lose the tag for the duration of that contract. Just didn't realize it was based more on when the tender is signed, and not the July 15th date.

    Man, when attorneys are involved, everything is as clear as day, don't cha think? :-) 

    Posted by alba

  22. knowing the NFL, they probably wouldnt hesitate to slap a grievance on us

    they would screw us if we picked up a penny off the street 

    Posted by ADP

  23. It's amazing how little we know about this stuff, even when we know a lot. I feel like we've gone over the Shaun situation to a point where we know more than some reporters do, but then I find info like this that just confuses me.

    Alba, I was with you on what I knew and didn't know.  

    Posted by PaulieP

  24. they would screw us if we picked up a penny off the street  

    What are we gonna do with an aging point guard whose best days are behind him when he played with Shaq in Orlando??!!! :-)


    Posted by alba

  25. Hey, if he came with lil penny I'd take him.  

    Posted by PaulieP

  26. Damn straight, "I know my spot, fool!"  

    Posted by JoSCh

  27. Also, the "cooling off period" isn't a big deal, it is just there to ensure that the team and the player/agent aren't negotiating w/o the signed tender. But since he will have signed the tender, and therefore is under contract, he'll be involved with the team while his contract is being worked, or be fined/disciplined.

    I don't think he can sign the tender now, he could sign it early, or after the 15th. I hope he signs soon... 

    Posted by JoSCh