The Alexander Deal: An Insider's Perspective

Shortly after Seahawks.NET reported the news of Shaun Alexander's one-year contract, we received the REAL inside slant from our good friend, NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang.

Adam Schefter of The NFL Network first reported that Seahawks RB Shaun Alexander met with team president Tim Ruskell recently, allegedly agreeing to sign a 1-year deal. According to the Seattle Times, Alexander signed a "modified" version of the franchise tender. The contract contains language that prohibits the Seahawks from franchising him again in 2006, and allows Alexander to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season should he and the Seahawks fail to agree on a long-term deal. The Seahawks are also prohibited from trading Alexander without his consent. The contract details were finalized this morning.

Alexander was named the
team’s designated franchise player on February 23rd, as the Seahawks were completing the long-term contracts for QB Matt Hasselbeck and LT Walter Jones . Alexander, who led the NFC in rushing yards with 1,696 and the NFL in touchdowns with 20 last season, will earn $6.323 million in 2005, all of which is guaranteed. He will attend the team's training camp at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, which begins on Friday, July 29. Alexander will report on Thursday.

A few hours after Seahawks.NET reported this story, we received an extremely interesting insider's perspective on Alexander's contract from none other than NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst Rob Rang. While it's tempting to get all "journalistic" and frame his quotes around our own flowery B.S., Rob's take on this issue is far too important and timely to be filtered. So here it is, verbatim:

After hearing the news that Alexander had signed, I spoke to some of the insiders who, for months, had seemed convinced he would hold out of training camp.

Two different sources each pointed out that the new regime in Seattle, headed by President Tim Ruskell, may have sparked the opportunity to potentially keep Alexander in Seattle for the long term.

The deal given to Alexander is nearly without precedent. One of the few examples of a contract guaranteeing the Franchise and Transition tags was Jonathan Ogden's rookie deal. The promise to not use these tags on Ogden is one of the reasons many feel he received the bloated second contract.

The language of the contract is also interesting in that it does not actually contain a no-trade clause, but simply requires Alexander agree to the trade.

It has long been thought Alexander would look to leave if given the opportunity. However, the sources now seem to feel Alexander was being 100% heartfelt with his preference for staying in Seattle "for the long haul."

Both sides commented on the possibility of signing a long term deal sometime during the season or shortly afterward. Neither would classify the long term deal as being a sure thing, however.

In the short term, at least, the deal is perfect for both Alexander and the Seahawks.

The guaranteed money, trade flexibility, and freedom in the future makes this an almost imaginary deal for Alexander.

For Seattle, the agreement puts their most productive and marketable player in position to perform well again this season. Also, it places the decision to financially commit to Alexander at the same time as when the Seahawks will be making their coaching decision for next season.

Fascinating stuff, and many thanks to Rob for his expert view on the big news.

Stay tuned to Seahawks.NET for more on the Alexander contract, upcoming daily training camp reports, our continued Player Analysis articles, and much more!


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