Posted by Mike Florio on May 5, 2008, 2:55 p.m.
Though his release by the Seattle Seahawks initially was met with the soothing melody of crickets rubbing their wings together, running back Shaun Alexander is suddenly hearing the chirping of a cell phone instead.
Adam Schefter of NFL Network reports that Alexander will follow his visit with the Cincinnati Bengals with a trip to New Orleans, where he’ll visit with the Saints.
The interest in Alexander should be regarded as a bad sign for running back Deuce McAllister, who is recovering from his second torn ACL in three seasons. If Alexander signs, McAllister could be scuttled.
The broader question with Alexander is whether anyone will offer him a deal that he’ll deem to be worthy of his abilities. Our guess is that, in the end, he’ll ink a multi-year deal that will appear to be a big-money package but that on closer inspection will be essentially a one-year deal with a reasonable base salary and lots of incentives.
As we see it, there’s no need for Alexander to rush the process. He’ll avoid all offseason workouts and mandatory minicamps if he doesn’t sign with a team, and his leverage in one or more cities could increase significantly if/when one of the top tailbacks blows out a knee during those non-contact contact practices.
Maybe I’m crazy….but why can’t McAllister and Alexander be on the same team?
Having Deuce & Shaun split the load when it comes to being the work-horse seems to make sense. It may be the best thing for both of them.
If the Saints signed Alexander and kept both he and Deuce McAllister they’d have 5 viable runningbacks on the roster. McAllister, Bush, Aaron Stecker, Pierre Thomas and Alexander. Could they cut Stecker or Thomas? Sure but Stecker is a solid leader and the special teams captain so I can’t see him going anywhere. Thomas is young but showed nice talent at the end of last year so I can’t see them letting him go either.
Can an NFL team afford to carry that many players at one position?
They’d obviously have to compromise at another position but it can be done.
Some possible scenarios; If the Saints acquire Jeremy Shockey they could keep 3 tight ends instead of 4. If Sedrick Ellis emerges as a young star the team could go with 1 less man on the interior defensive line. With Reggie Bush being deployed as a slot receiver (as he was his rookie year when he set a record for rookie receptions) the team could keep 1 less wide receiver.