Show me the Money! (Part II)

Shaun Alexander

Seahawks runningback Shaun Alexander has declared that he will holdout unless he receives a new long term contract from Seattle. Alexander has been offered a one year $6.25 million deal.

Alexander is only 27 and is one of the top five backs in the NFL. Last season he was one yard from leading the league in rushing, but was held back by Mike Holmgren from gaining that last yard. Jets runningback Curtis Martin gained 1,697 yards last season, while Alexander rushed for 1,696 yards.

The ball is now in Seattle's court, and I do not envy their position. They have a talented backup in Maurice Morris who could assume the role of starter. Additionally, the league has an excess of young, talented runningbacks, which has lowered Alexander's market value. For example, the Bills attempted to trade runningback Travis Henry, a Pro Bowler who is also 27, for nothing lower than a first day pick. But there where simply too many runningbacks available in the draft and free agency.

Seattle has put the franchise tag on Alexander, which means he has to be paid $6.26 million if he plays this season. No other team is willing to pay that kind of money, in addition to giving up players or picks, for Alexander.

Of course, this may be a blessing in disguise for the Seahawks. Follow me on this one.

Let's assume Alexander holds out for 3 or 4 games. I think Morris is talented enough to fill in for Alexander for at least a couple of weeks. Additionally, the seesaw have enough talent to win three of their first five games, and could potentially go five for five.

If the Seahawks start winning without Alexander, he will quickly see the writing on the wall and sign Seattle's contract offer or risk being replaced by Morris, i.e. the way Henry was replaced by Willis McGahee last season. I don't believe Morris is as good as McGahee, but I don't believe Alexander is as important to the Seahawks as he believes.

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