March 6, 2006

Seahawks re-sign Alexander to 8-year deal

SEATTLE (Reuters) - The Seattle Seahawks signed star
running back Shaun Alexander, to an 8-year, $62 million contact
on Monday, only days before the NFL's most valuable player was
to hit the open market as a free agent.

The new agreement is the richest deal ever signed by a
running back and ensures that Alexander, 28, remains with the
team that drafted him in 2000.

Alexander rushed for 1,880 yards and scored a National
Football League record 28 touchdowns in leading the Seahawks to
the franchise's first-ever Super Bowl berth.

"We've just signed one of best running backs in the history
of the NFL to what is in essence a lifetime deal," Seahawks
President of Football Operations Tim Ruskell said at a news
conference. "We want to keep our core (players) together."

Alexander, who rushed for 95 yards in a 21-10 loss to the
Pittsburg Steelers in the Super Bowl, would have joined other
big-name running backs like Edgerrin James from the
Indianapolis Colts and Jamal Lewis from the Baltimore Ravens,
in the free agent market.

"It really wasn't in my mind to leave here," Alexander
said. "To be the highest (paid) running back ever is quite an

Alexander and the Seahawks reached an agreement prior to
the NFL and its players union postponing the start of the free
agency period until Thursday from Monday in order to have more
time to hammer out an agreement to extend a labor deal.

Resigning Alexander and All-Pro offensive lineman Steve
Hutchinson were seen as an off-season priorities for the
Seahawks if the team seeks a return trip to the playoffs.

Earler in the offseason, the team designated Hutchinson as
a transition player, which gives Seattle the right to match any
offer from other teams.

Of the $62 million deal, $15 million is guaranteed money in
the form of a signing bonus, first-year salary and other
bonuses for the 2006 season, according to media reports.