I can't say that I'm shocked at yesterday's announcement. I don't think anyone really is. We knew this day was coming, and in some circles this transaction will be seen as a good thing. I don't know if its a good thing or not. So many questions still swirl around Shaun's final two seasons in Seattle. Most notably, "What if we had manned up and signed Steve Hutchinson?"
We'll never know. Had that line stayed in tact, had Shaun stayed healthy...who knows. Its almost painful to think about how much better this team could have been, especially considering that the last two years have netted playoff wins and an epic playoff game on the road against the eventual NFC champions. That NFC divisional match-up in Chicago was both a source of great joy and frustration with Shaun especially. He was in great form, racked up over 100 yards and scored. But then, his miscommunication with Hasselbeck led to a costly fumble.
Through injuries and mediocre starts, fans and front office alike have been frustrated with Alexander the Great these past two seasons. The ugly accusation that he wasn't trying because he had gotten paid started to fly. Personally, I don't think Shaun is that kind of person. He had always avoided contact. He was always patient, waiting for the hole to develop. After his MVP season, his line was changed, and suddenly waiting for holes led to tackles in the backfield and ducking out of bounds was seen as not fighting for extra yards. Just two years after he converted every 3rd and 1 given to him, his toughness was questioned and fans overlooked the gaping hole on the left side and blamed a big contract.
In the end though, these past two years will be forgotten. When Shaun does retire, Seahawk fans will talk about his 2005 season and how he was always an overlooked back. We will remember his touchdowns and his touchdown celebrations. We will remember him taking the rushing title, and forget the fact that a year before he said he had been "stabbed in the back" over not getting a chance to earn the crown.
In time, we'll even stop asking the what if questions. But, for now all I can say is "Thanks."