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Bengals
Mark Curnutte offers the latest on the Cincinnati Bengals


Mark Curnutte started covering the Bengals and the NFL for The Enquirer in 2000. He previously wrote about urban affairs and other social issues for the Enquirer. He won the prestigious 1994 Unity Award from Lincoln University (Missouri) for "A Polite Silence," a seven-day series about race relations in Greater Cincinnati. He also has worked as an assistant features editor and features writer at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. Curnutte is second vice president and a three-year board member of the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA). He is a 1984 Miami University graduate.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Alexander visit ongoing

Bengals coaches and executives are wrapping up a two-day visit this afternoon with former league MVP Shaun Alexander.

Alexander, a Boone County High School graduate from Florence, was released April 22 after eight seasons with the Seattle Seahawks.

He began a visit with the Bengals on Sunday and had dinner downtown that night with coaches, the team’s official Web site said. Today the team gave him a tour of Paul Brown Stadium, and Alexander underwent a physical. Alexander did pass a physical in Seattle before he was released, according to the Associated Press.

Discussions are very preliminary, and no real direction has been set by either side. More information might be available later today, though both sides are keeping quiet.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis had declined comment on the Alexander visit on Friday, the first day of rookie minicamp. No additional comment was available today from the club.

Agent Jim Steiner has not returned e-mail seeking comment, as well.

In 2005, when he was voted league MVP, Alexander set a league record with 28 touchdowns and a franchise record with 1,880 rushing yards. The Seahawks won the NFC title but lost in the Super Bowl to the Steelers.

After the MVP season, the Seahawks signed Alexander to an eight-year, $62 million contract, which included $15.1 million in guaranteed money. He would only see two years of the contract and was supposed to make a base salary of $4.475 million in 2008.

Alexander played in 13 games with 11 starts last season, missing three games with a sprained left knee. He played through a left wrist fractured in Week 1. In 2006, he missed six games because of a severely bruised left foot that eventually resulted in a fracture.

He will be 31 Aug. 30.


9 Comments:

at 5/05/2008 3:54 PM Blogger Jaybee said...

I have some really mixed feelings about this. As much as I like Shaun and would like to see him finish his career in stripes, do we really need another running back who is essentially Rudi revisited? 31 years old - injury prone - probably expensive (which will mean a club obligation to see he gets carries). If you're going to bring in another RB it needs to be someone who is a complement to Rudi, not a clone. That said, the character issue would be really beneficial to the Bengals. They could use some good PR in light of the Brooks news.
But, it will be what it will be and we shall see soon.

 
at 5/05/2008 5:34 PM Blogger Another losing season said...

Guarantee the Bengals can't resist signing this guy. Just like you say jaybee another Rudi revisited only he's banged up a little more and you won't find him hanging out at Tropicana with his possee every night.

How many injured/washed up running backs do the Bengals need on their roster?

By the way if any of you think Chris Perry is going to make an impact, you are mistaken. His NFL career is essentially over.

 
at 5/05/2008 5:53 PM Blogger steveallenky said...

Don't assume it will cost them much because it will not. I can't see anybody paying much for his services and I would think it likely any contract would be heavily incentive based. Beyond that its not really much to be excited about, I would say the best thing he could bring to the table is high character and leadership. When I say leadership I envision him setting an example in his work ethic, seeing a for a former MVP work for a roster spot, in hopes that it rubs off on other players around him. Under the best circumstances I would not see him being in the league beyond this coming year. I don't think anybody with the team sees him as a 'final piece to the puzzle'.

I would welcome him here but I realize this isn't a solution in the bigger picture of our running game.

The draft next year will hold that answer.

 
at 5/05/2008 6:30 PM OpenID tyrolly05 said...

Look how Jamal Lewis was able to revive his career in cursed Cleveland . I know I know, apples and oranges. But this guy is a former MVP. Go for it.

 
at 5/05/2008 7:30 PM Blogger Marc in Kentucky said...

I don't know what Rudi's cap hit would be, but I would think it would be much less than Chad's and could free up some money later on.

I've said it before, Alexander cannot, CANNOT be any worse than Rudi has the past two years.

If Rudi is not the long term solution Shaun could be a very nice stop gap. Sign small to medium and let's go forward.

 
at 5/05/2008 7:58 PM Blogger firefly118 said...

alseason: You are right on one issue, that is C. Perry. I feel sorry for him, but this team needs to bite the bullet and let him go. He will not return and stay healthy, thats just the way it goes.

AS FAR AS ALEXANDER GOES, you are all missing the point. What is Mike Brown about, being Cheap, and this is a perfect opportunity to be (but this one I agree with). He can sign a once great player with local ties, whom the fans will adore and want to see for very little money. Then we can turn around and RELEASE Rudi and save a good chunk of money. Like everyone has said, Shaun and Rudi are basically interchangable in their value.....but Shaun will be a lot less expensive.

If S.A could stay healthy and take 12 to 15 carries a game, he would be more valuable at this point than Rudi. The big question is health....but so is it when it comes to Rudi, so what are you out. Throw in Watson and Dorsey and we could have enough to get us into the 7th game, where Irons could possibly be back to form and ready to play.

I would love to see it, along with Thornton and O'Neal, Rudi being cut would allow the cap hit to be virtually nill when we trade Chad in mid June! Lets be honest, Chad really hasn't taken us to the playoffs, so what is the big deal about keeping him. If the young guys can even come close (with Palmer I think anyone can), and young DT's stopping the run, lets get a 2009 draft pick or two and rebuild for 09'.

 
at 5/06/2008 7:12 AM Blogger JimmyD said...

marc and firefly are both right, it is ALWAYS a money thing with Mike Brown. But, if they sign Shaun, I think they cut Rudi. Shaun and Rudi are pretty much clones in style and age, so we don't need both. I'd rather have Shaun over Rudi, because he's a great, great person, who I think can still produce. Rudi has shown that he's got nothing less. I think signing Shaun, cutting Rudi, is a good move and of course costs Mike not much, which is a good thing for him, so he can have another Hot Fudge Cake at that fancy restaurant Frisch's.

 
at 5/06/2008 8:41 AM Blogger TTB said...

If they can sign him cheap or with an incentive based contract I say go for it. It would be great PR for a team that needs PR. I wouldn't want Rudi to go. I think he's got a lot left. If we go to a two back system then both the guys will be fresh and hungry to perform when they are in the game. For the right price, signing Alexander would be a great move.

 
at 5/06/2008 8:53 AM Blogger Gweedoh said...

Just to make a distinction- while I agree that Shaun and Rudi are interchangeable in value, they do at least have different running styles- Rudi being much more downhill with SA being more side-to-side with a much better ability to catch the ball. That said, I still don't like the idea of having 2 30+ year old RB's leading the team.

Also, firefly, I agree with most of what you say, but can you really call Mike Brown cheap? He's signed how many huge huge contracts in the past few years? Rudi, Willie, Levi, Carson, Chad, Bobbie Williams, TJ, and now franchising a back-up tackle/guard in Stacy Andrews. That's hardly cheap- in fact it's pretty crazy spending, which might be why they now feel they can't afford to take the cap hit in trading Chad.

 
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