Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Friday, February 24, 2006

An Early "Keep Shaun?" Preview

If Shaun wants this, it's not happening....


The early scuttlebutt coming out of Indy is that running back Shaun Alexander is looking for a contract with $22 million in guaranteed money and a total value of $80 million.

Sorry, Shaun, but it aint' gonna happen.

It would be the biggest running back contract in league history, eclipsing the contract signed in 2005 by Chargers tailback LaDainian Tomlinson. L.T. received $20 million in guaranteed money as part of an eight-year, $60 million package.

The problem is that the market for free agent running backs -- especially those on the wrong side of age 25 -- doesn't support that kind of investment, even for a guy who was the league MVP and who broke the single-season touchdown record.

More than ever, running backs are regarded as fungible. Only a guy with truly rare skills, like a Barry Sanders or a Jim Brown-type talent, would be able to get the kind of deal that Alexander supposedly wants.

The Carolina Panthers might have caught wind of Alexander's financial expectations, since they unexpectedly
applied the transition tag to running back DeShaun Foster on Thursday. Because the Panthers generally are expected to make a run at Alexander, having the right of first refusal as to Foster will give the Panthers some protection in the event that Alexander's price tag doesn't get a lot more reasonable.

And contrary to the wire report posted at, Foster isn't automatically "guaranteed" $5.13 million for 2006. For transition players, the one-year tender only becomes guaranteed at the start of the regular season; until then, the team can remove the transition tag at any time, and instantly free up the cap room. Thus, if the Panthers are at some point close to striking a deal with Alexander, all they need to do is revoke the tag as to Foster, and they'll have an extra $5.13 million in 2006 cap dollars to work with.

Under the franchise and transition rules, the money only becomes guaranteed for franchise players who sign the tender. Also, and as the Chargers recently realized, a transition tender becomes guaranteed if (and only if) the transition tag is used on a guy who accepted the franchise tender in the prior season.

Shaun. Not. Going. To. Happen.

I was wondering if something like this was going to be Shaun's version of "treating him right". Now, all of a sudden, three things are going to happen.

1. Shaun gets paid an outrageous amount of money by a team like Arizona or Minnesota.

2. Shaun gets mad at Seattle for not paying him $80 mill and takes less money to go to a place like Carolina.

3. Shaun gets mad at Seattle for not paying him $80 mill, finally takes lesser money to come back, and then pouts for all time.

I don't like any of those options.....

Why am I so pessimistic about the offseason so far? First the transition tag, now this? Maybe I need some happy pills?

posted by colin_hesse @ 8:49 PM  0 comments


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