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Alexander Inks "Franchise Tag Killer" Deal

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Alexander to report to camp

By Jose Miguel Romero

Seattle Times staff reporter

KIRKLAND -- The Seahawks and Shaun Alexander have reached a one-year contract agreement that will have the star running back in training camp when practices begin Friday morning.

Alexander signed the $6.32 million contract this afternoon following a half-hour visit to team headquarters. The figure is the same as the one-year franchise tender, which the team had hoped Alexander would sign after it gave him its franchise tag earlier in the offseason.

Alexander balked at signing the tender, and it appeared he would boycott camp until today's development.

The contract Alexander signed is not the tender. It contains language that prohibits the Seahawks from franchising Alexander at the end of this season, and if Alexander plays out the season, he can become an unrestricted free agent.

The Seahawks and Alexander's agents are still planning to talk about a long-term deal, which is what Alexander sought in the first place and threatened to miss camp and regular-season time if such a deal was not agreed to.

If no long-term deal is reached by the end of this season, Alexander can hit the free-agent market and go wherever he chooses.

The contract he signed with Seattle also contains a clause whereby Alexander cannot be traded during the season without prior approval. His salary is also fully guaranteed, even if he is injured or his skills diminish.

The contract details were finalized this morning, but the deal had been discussed for several days. Alexander showed up at the team facility today to talk to team president Tim Ruskell and sign his contract.

Alexander is expected to arrive at Eastern Washington University in Cheney Thursday afternoon.

Very interesting. I wonder if the language prohibits them using the transition tag as well? First time I recall hearing something like this go down; sounds like an idea that will gain traction: tags as contract bargaining chips.

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