We're at the point now where it's painfully clear that Shaun Alexander's days as a Seahawk are over. Sometime between now and August, he's going to get either traded or cut.
And while I expected many NFL pundits to throw their arms in the air and exclaim "Alexander's done!!" the reality is that many very educated football people have said publicly and privately that Alexander still has a year left in the tank.
If you subscribe to the theory we've come up with that running backs decline after the equivalent of eight full seasons of work (or about 2,600 carries), then you'd agree that Alexander does have a year left. Shaun has 2,176 carries over his career with about the equivalent of seven full seasons under his belt.
Now, if you subscribe to the theory that age is strictly the issue with running backs, then you'd say he's done.
Suffice to say, we think he has one year left. And with lots of other NFL folks saying so, chances are teams think so too.
So now Seattle finds themselves with a player they won't pay. Rather than feed him a huge salary, they'll cut him and not owe him much. However, if a team came along and offered Shaun Alexander a nice contract with a big offensive role and some guaranteed cash and some good incentives, he'd probably take it rather than go on the free-agent market. And Seattle would be fine with that because then they'd get something for Shaun Alexander.
With that in mind, here's a list of NFL teams that might be willing to offer Alexander a new, decent deal (at least $2M) and Seattle a draft pick or a player.
CAROLINA: Alexander could pair with DeAngelo Williams and make for a pair of 12-carry guys. The Panthers have a good O-line to aid Alexander, too. I doubt they'd give anything more than a 7.
CHICAGO: The Bears would give Cedric Benson some competition (with a rookie taken in Round 3 to be thrown into the fray as well). The ears have dealt with Seattle before; surely they'd part with a 6.
CINCINNATI: Hometown team for Alexander and a good stop-gap RB option with Rudi Johnson with seemingly less in the tank than Alexander even though he hasn't had as many reps. Cincy could pay a 6.
DALLAS: Could be the one-year replacement for Julius Jones, and it would mean Dallas wouldn't have to spend a top pick on a running back. They might only offer a 7, though, they're not as desperate.
DETROIT: Fantasy owners should hope this happens. The Lions need someone to be the plowhorse in their new RB-heavy offense. Detroit could spend a 5 for him -- they need a good RB that bad.
HOUSTON: Could definitely use him and offer up a player to pad Seattle's depth or a pick, perhaps a 6.