The League

John Morgan
Seahawks Blogger

John Morgan

An avid football fan and writer for Field Gulls.

More Money Wins

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Seattle signed Shaun Alexander to a six-year, $62 million dollar contract in March of 2006. He was fresh off a record-setting MVP season for the Super Bowl bound Seahawks. Alexander would be among the worst running backs in football the next two seasons before the market rendered him obsolete in 2008. Seattle thought it was signing an MVP, but that player had vanished before the contract was even printed. The Seahawks, like most NFL teams, commit cash to past performance and so doing are sometimes blind to a player's potential.

Jason La Canfora compiled the aggregate money spent by every NFL team over the last five seasons. Seattle ranked second behind only Dallas. Seattle spent big because of contracts like Alexander's given to cornerstone players like Walter Jones, Matt Hasselbeck, Lofa Tatupu and Marcus Trufant, but also because general manager Tim Ruskell favors established talent -- veterans. In recent seasons Seattle has signed Patrick Kerney, Deon Grant, Julian Peterson, Deion Branch and now T.J. Houshmandzadeh to expensive contracts. It's a dangerous and perhaps fatal inclination. Kerney exploded his first season before missing most of the next with injury. Branch has disappointed and proven injury prone. Under cap duress, Seattle was forced to dump Peterson in a lopsided trade to Detroit.

Seattle's cornerstone players have continued to produce. Seattle signed Hasselbeck and Jones in February of 2005 and both were essential to Seattle's Super Bowl run. Hasselbeck was 29 at the time, the theoretical peak season for a quarterback, and Jones just 31. Subsequent contracts to homegrown talent have also targeted youth and potential. Trufant was 27 and fresh off his first Pro Bowl season. Tatupu was 25 and recently signed Leroy Hill, 26.

Money can be spent well and spent poorly, but ultimately more money is always better. More money means more opportunities and more wherewithal when those opportunities bust. Seattle busted on Shaun Alexander, but could still retain its own talent and pursue major free agents. It did and made the playoffs the next two seasons. A team like Buffalo would have been crippled by such a blunder.

By John Morgan  |  July 3, 2009; 8:12 AM ET  | Category:  Dallas Cowboys , Seattle Seahawks , Washington Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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