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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

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March 6, 2008 9:30 AM

Running back Julius Jones visiting Seahawks

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Running back Julius Jones is in Seattle today for a free-agent visit. Jones played the past four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. Jones visited the Tennessee Titans earlier this week.

Jones played in all 16 games for Dallas the past two seasons, but increasingly shared carries with Marion Barber.

Jones is 26, a second-round draft pick in 2004 whom the Cowboys thought so much of they drafted him instead of Steven Jackson. [Danny O. update: As pointed out by a reader, this doesn't mean Julius Jones was drafted ahead of Steven Jackson. Rather, the Cowboys could have picked Steven Jackson in the first round, but instead traded down and eventually picked Julius Jones in the second round.]

The Seahawks on Wednesday officially signed T.J. Duckett to be a complementary part of the back. Jones is the top free-agent running back left on the market after Michael Turner signed with Atlanta. [DannyO update: Shane from Olympia makes a valid point that Warrick Dunn just might be the top back on the market now. Dunn is older so probably won't command as large a contract as Jones is looking for in terms of years, but Shane's right, an argument can be made that Dunn is the top back].

  • Linebacker Nick Greisen left Seattle Wednesday night after his free-agent visit. No contract with the Seahawks. At least not yet.


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    Posted by seahawk-Seyler

    9:51 AM, Mar 06, 2008

    Now thats what im talking about. Get Julius on board then either cut shawn or put him in a package for Jeremy shockey ( I know bad apple) and that makes our draft of only 6 picks (minus one for a kicker much more palitable.

    Posted by charles

    9:51 AM, Mar 06, 2008

    Sign him Timmy hes younger and fresher than Shaun if done right you can save 6 mil on this years cap by cutting him.

    Posted by Southeast Seahawk

    9:56 AM, Mar 06, 2008

    This guy is exactly the type of running back we need now. Couple him with Weaver in the backfield, bringing in Duckett at times, are running game will be one to reckon with. Sign him sign him NOW! Oh yeah and thanks for the memories Shaun

    Posted by Southeast Seahawk

    9:59 AM, Mar 06, 2008

    Sorry for the typo in my last post.. meant to say our running game...

    Posted by Guarddog

    10:03 AM, Mar 06, 2008

    Will somebody please show Alexander the door...

    Posted by jason

    10:48 AM, Mar 06, 2008

    Signing Jones would be terrible. He had every chance in Dallas, and he never made it work. He is definitely not the answer.

    Posted by Lake Tapps

    11:06 AM, Mar 06, 2008

    Get it done. I love the thought of a Duckett, Jones, Chris Johnson, RB by committee. Reminds me of a Droughns, Jacobs, Bradshaw group that seemed to work out for that team in NY

    Posted by No.12

    11:09 AM, Mar 06, 2008

    I don't see why people would get lathered up over Julius Jones. Jones had a 3.58 yds/carry average last season, not much of an improvement over Alexander's 3.45 (with injury excuse to boot).

    Not that I'm defending Alexander's decline in productivity, just that Jones would only be a suitable substitute if you were paying him appropriately, whereas Alexander's grossly overpaid for his recent & projected future production.

    Posted by hawksinSB

    11:12 AM, Mar 06, 2008

    Time for a SA supporter to speak up. SA deserves a chance behind a better offensive line. All you SA haters should hate MO too because they both struggled behind the same line. Julius Jones is not the answer. TJ Duckett is not the answer. The answer is SA, MO and Weaver behind a better O-line, and a drafted RB for the future to replace SA/MO in 1-2 years. SA was league MVP and was a big piece of us getting to SB XL. Dont sell him out so quick.
    One more thing. All you Ruskell haters need to shut your mouths. If he hadnt signed SA to the big contract, Mo and whoever else would have had a bad year this year and you would all be cursing Ruskell for not resigning our MVP and ruining our running game.

    Posted by dblog

    11:20 AM, Mar 06, 2008

    I would rather save those tight cap dollars for another player. The draft offers some good young backs just as good as Jones and 6 years younger!

    Combine him with Duckett and Weaver and we should be fine at RB for years to come. Assuming Ruskell can sign Weaver long term?

    Posted by Josh D in austin TX

    11:23 AM, Mar 06, 2008

    I like the idea of having Jones playing for us next year!

    Posted by shane/olympia

    11:30 AM, Mar 06, 2008

    not true about jones is the top back left i think dunn could be more valuable to certain teams.

    dunn is...

    High chacter guy

    great in the locker room

    is not injury prone

    has always been productive

    ties to mora jr - ruskell - kerney

    Posted by KG

    11:52 AM, Mar 06, 2008

    Jason, No. 12, hawksinSB, and Dblog -- thank you. Signing Jones would be a bad move. He'll probably cost too much and is a grossly over-rated RB. He's not that good. He didn't do that great with a great Cowboys O-line - thats why they don't want him.

    And with the line we have, what do you really think he'll do? I'm hoping the Titans sign him, heard he was there too.

    And shane, wow...Dunn? Um, he's older than Shaun. C'mon now, let's get serious.

    Shaun deserves one more run with a healthy year and a better O-line. Duckett was enough, we dont need another back! I'm not sure why Ruskell keeps overloading positions when we have crucial needs...he did this with WR last year.

    This offense needs a TE, and we need to focus our resources on that. Also, more depth at CB would be helpful. Oh, a big DT would be nice too...

    Posted by Patrick F.

    12:35 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    I've never seen anything from Julius Jones, while with the Cowboys, that make me think he's a better running back than Shaun Alexander. He's not the answer to the running game. I think the offensive line improving is.

    I think we should give Alexander one more year, and draft his replacement in this year's draft.

    Posted by preston

    12:36 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    Any of guys remember julius jones running through the seahawks in 05 on monday night when we went to the super bowl....... Alexander can't make things happen on his own anymore bottom line....... Jones is a slasher and has great feet. I don't think its a bad move helps us clear some cap room so we can go get jeremy shockey!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by Josh

    12:47 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    Julius Jones is not a step up from Shaun Alexander. Warrick Dunn would be an interesting get but he's older than SA and frankly, I'm getting kind of tired of us picking up the scraps from Ruskell's former teams.

    And Julius Jones destroyed us in 04 his rookie year and the year before we went to the Superbowl. Now I don't follow the cowboys fanatically, but it is the only impressive performance by Jones that I can remember.

    Posted by Ben

    12:53 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    Alright, since everyone in here is probably living in Washington, and has some inside scoop about the Seahawks and who should be our running back, let me tell you a little bit about Mr. Jones.

    First of all, I have lived in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex for the last 8 years. And I listen to The Ticket Sports radio 5 days a week, from 7am-3pm. My job permits that I listen to the radio. They are the official home of the Dallas Cowboys. We get to hear interviews from Troy Aikman, Jerry Jones, Jason Witten, all those guys on a regular basis. They have specialists that focus just on players just for the radio show. And let me tell you this, JULIUS JONES IS NOT, I REPEAT NOT THE ANSWER IN SEATTLE!!! I love my beloved Seahawks way too much to let a guy who had every chance to be the full time starter here in Dallas, with a way better line than ours for that matter blow every oppotunity that he had. He goes down just like Shaun. He can't make the first guy miss. He doesn't take the hits.

    You guys I know are tired of seeing Shaun Alexander not live up to his full potential. As am I. But a lot of that had to do with our front line. Juilus couldn't hold Alexander's jock strap. I know we're ready for a changing of the guard if you will at the running back position, but a lot of you all are on board just to sign a guy just because he's available at that position. I'm telling you again my beloved Seattle fans, J. Jones would be a terrible fit in Seattle. If he can't cut it on a Pro Bowl line here in Dallas, what makes you think he's going to be any better here with what we have.

    This is what I call living in a pipe dream!

    Posted by No.12

    1:12 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    I wouldn't rate a RB by what they did against our defense-- we've had a history of making average or unknown RBs look like the reincarnation of Walter Payton.

    Hawks need to concentrate on settling the Trufant situation, draft a RB, and solidify other positions with best athlete available.

    Also, we should jettison Marcus Tubbs, he hasn't done much and coming off micro-fracture surgery, I don't expect to see anything in the future from him.

    Posted by Ken Brown

    1:32 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    I think Jones would be a great addition....but I did not like the addition of Duckett. But seriously do we really need 4 RB's? Cutting Shaun is not a good idea I still believe he can produce and Mo Morris is solid....cut Duckett? lol guess this means Seattle will Target a Nose Tackle or Tight End in the draft.

    Posted by KG

    1:39 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    Preston, are you talking about the '05 season where Shaun was the MVP?

    Posted by Ed

    1:58 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    "Jones is 26, a second-round draft pick in 2004 whom the Cowboys thought so much of they drafted him instead of Steven Jackson."

    This could make casual readers think that JJ was drafted ahead of SJ, or that the Cowboys thought him better than SJ.

    To clarify: The Cowboys had a choice between A) Getting Jackson , B) Getting someone else, C) Trading down around 12 spots with Buffalo and getting Jones at that point, plus a potential top 10 pick the next year from Buffalo. The Cowboys took option 'C' and ended up with the following year's 11th overall pick, choosing DeMarcus Ware.

    So, instead of getting Steven Jackson they got both Julius Jones and DeMarcus Ware.

    Posted by Evjene

    2:00 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    man......use alexander and get some kind of trade or a couple of draft pics for him. Julius would be a pretty nice fit in seattle

    Posted by Ed

    2:17 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    A couple of draft picks for Alexander?

    You'd be lucky to fetch a 6th rounder for him.

    Posted by 206dogg

    2:35 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    Julius Jones is NOT good. He has a better oline than SA. Plus, the cowboys had a better WR threat to help open up the running game. All this and Jones only has a 3.45 yrds/carry. He is a dud and would be a terrible sign. I like the fact that we got Duckett. Let's get Johnson or Rogers out of the draft, who will be the replacement for Shaun and the compliment to Ducketts thunder.

    Yuck. I hate jones and he is terrible. just as soft and timid as SA.

    Posted by free beer

    3:27 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    I think it time for the Hawks to think young blood! Hanging around is good for wonderful dryed aged beef, not for beat up, no motum football players! This type the characters thing really, really, SUCKS!

    Posted by Ben

    3:35 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!! I SAID HEY WAKE UP!!!! JULIUS JONES IS NOT THE ANSWER!! They have been trying to run him out of Dallas because he SUCKS!!!!!! There is not a one of you who could make a definitive argument as to why he would be a good choice for the Seahawks! God, you guys! Draft a RB, quit wasting money on a position that is heavily loaded in the draft! I know Seattle and its fans are way smarter than how a lot of them are posting by thinking Julius would be a good fit here.

    Posted by Tom

    3:40 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    Don't sign Julius Jones....sign Warrick Dunn. Julius Jones didn't really impress me during his tenure in Dallas. I think the teams that have a good mix of seasoned vets and talented youth make deep in the playoffs. Warrick Dunn, TJ Duckett and Maurice Morris make a great three headed monster. Look at how many running backs the good teams in better divisions have, especially the Giants. Good bye Alexander, we need player that block and are willing to give it their all for the team. Not solidify themselves their contract money, or whatever your motivations are! Bye Bye, I flush you now terd!

    Posted by Greg

    3:55 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    I am a huge Cowboys fan, do not sign Jones, he is not worth it. Draft a back, and put Duckett in the fullback spot.

    Posted by 12thmanforlife

    4:23 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    Julius Jones is not the answer. Warrick Dunn is definitely not the answer. I don't even know why anybody would even mention his name. I have no idea what Ruskell is thinking. There would be no logical reason to bring Jones in here. Its just a waiste of money. He is nobody special. He brings nothing to the table that we don't already have. And we sure as hell don't need a 1/2 dozen running backs (and not one of them will play special teams) taking up roster space.

    And please, PLEASE stop thinking that adding Jeremy Shockey would ever be a good idea. He is nothing but a cancer. One cancerous Jeremy is enough. We got rid of that one. Lets not bring in a new one. Thank you.

    p.s. when Jones ran on us on Monday Night, that was in 04 when our run d sucked.

    Posted by HollywoodHawk

    4:37 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    Dear HawksInSB:
    "All you SA haters should hate MO too because they both struggled behind the same line."

    2007 stats
    SA Avg: 3.5
    MO Avg: 4.5

    No comparison. Dump SA and his me-me-me attitude.

    Not sold on JJ. But it all begins with the O-Line anyway. Create holes, and anyone can run. Right Shaun? You're missing Hutch aren't ya?

    Posted by KG

    4:43 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    I echo loudly what 12thmanforlife just said. No Jones (he is as soft or softer than Shaun). No Dunn (he is old - what are people on this blog thinking?!).

    And where is Ruskell's mind at this offseason?

    Posted by Bud

    4:52 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    The only reason I am in favor for this signing is if they cut Shaun Alexander. If they keep Shaun, I hope they draft a running back. I feel with the addition of Duckett, it means either Shaun Alexander or Mo Morris are gone!

    Posted by Josh

    4:57 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    I don't know what a lot of you expected this free agency. We don't need a new feature back quite yet, we needed a new line. We got a big piece of that with Wahle. I know a lot of people and my friends wanted Faneca. Sure that would have been nice, but look at how expensive he is. Tru's contract is keeping us on a short leash like it or not. And since so many were salivating for smeothing more in the run game we got Duckett who is going to help us in short yardage. TE is another position we need to lock up but someone on the downward slide (Crumpler) or a locker room cancer (Shockey... ARE YOU KIDDING ME?) is not the answer. Not when the draft is overloaded with solid TE talent. Everyone needs to relax. I know you see teams like the Browns and Jets that are going buckwild this free agency and you want the Hawks to get in on it but exactly how did that work out SF last year? Wait for the draft and chill.

    Posted by SeahawkfanNYC

    5:17 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    As far as locker room additions, I don't think there's any debate that dunn is an upgrade over Alexander and/or Jones. On the field? That may be another matter. He's definitely going to be cheaper though, and if you're going to have an ineffective running game, you should at least be keeping your costs down.

    Throwing this out there, and maybe this is a good question for Dan to field, but what about Eric Johnson at TE for the Hawks? We'd have to pay for him, sure, but he's a proven commodity, an excellent route runner and pass catcher, money in the red zone, and seems to be a good locker room guy (at least I remember him that way when he was with the 49ers), Crumpler is off the market, but why aren't we hearing anything about Johnson?

    Posted by HawksneedaRB

    6:13 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    Hey HawksinSB ... You say MO struggled behind the same line as shaun did but you neglect to mention that MO averaged almost a whole yard per rush more! And Weaver averaged more than them both. Check the stats. And it was not b/c teams game planned for shaun - they stopped doing that a long time ago - he's done. Time for a new running back, bye shaun.

    Posted by thewaspfactory

    6:27 PM, Mar 06, 2008


    ...agrees wholeheartedly with Ben & 12thmanforlife.....

    BAD ideas for our team include, but are not limited to:

    Julious Jones
    Jeremy Shockey
    Warrick Dunn

    wake up, people.... you should never sh*t where you sleep, know what i mean? between age, temperment, and frailty these guys are ALL bad news for us...

    our locker room should be ( and IS for the most part - at least for now ) comprised of men of elite character AND talent. the 'Hawks are a different breed from say the Raiders, etc.. and that's just the way we should keep it - no matter what.

    Go 'Hawks!

    Posted by the fred

    7:07 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    I would rather see the Seahawks draft a guy like Stewart from Oregon (if he's still available when the Seahawks draft) or wait for June to see the cap casualties that will be available (maybe there are none at RB this year- I haven't looked too hard). I'm not impressed with Dunn, J. Jones or SA. If the Seahawks can't grab a stud in the draft I say go with a "thunder and lightning" combo of Momo and Duckett. I'd rather see Morris in there ahead of SA, JJ or WD.

    Sometimes the grass isn't greener on the other side of the fence. Morris knows the scheme and has a lot of tread left on the tires

    Posted by No.12

    8:08 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    Great debate. The Times and PI will publish my final decision in the matter. Thank you.

    Posted by He's Dunn

    8:51 PM, Mar 06, 2008

    Shane from Olympia should have watched Warrick Dunn play a single game last year.

    Posted by lwl

    5:35 AM, Mar 07, 2008

    Sign Jones cut Morris. Find Shawn replacement in draft.

    Posted by Mulligan42

    6:37 AM, Mar 07, 2008

    SA just goes down to qucikly, sometimes before the first contact. He is running too tentative to be effective. This is probably becuase of his injuries the past two seasons, but can he get his confidence back for this season? I say let Jones sign elsewhere, draft a good RB that can make an immediate impact, and let the RB's fight it out in camp.

    Posted by nature

    7:57 AM, Mar 07, 2008

    I really hope SA is with us this year. It's so fun to watch all you SA-hates get your panties in a bunch.

    Posted by free beer

    8:03 AM, Mar 07, 2008

    I turn green with envy watching other teams RB blowing throw a slit for a hole then run for a long one. Then I watch S.A. dancing behind the line and lats down before his touched....draft a young back.....please! Shaun should wear one of those thing you see on T.V., I've fallen down and I can't get up!!

    Posted by shane/olympia

    10:31 AM, Mar 07, 2008

    whats srong with picking free agents from ruskell"s past

    i think kerney did alright last year

    just think if the hawks had trufant and hall at both corners down the road

    even more crazy - totally out there

    just think if mike vick was the hawks #4 or 5 rec in a few years

    crumpler would have been nice watch him and young hook it up next season

    Posted by PayClayBennett

    10:43 AM, Mar 07, 2008

    Don't sign either Dunn or Jones - draft someone. Half the problem with the running game is the line, fix that too. Neither Jones nor Dunn would outperform Alexander in this offense.

    Julius Jones blows. Warrick Dunn is old. If money's tight, don't spend it on any of that. Any day of the week I'll take Mo-Mo and Shaun over Dunn and/or Jones.

    Posted by TechCity

    11:20 AM, Mar 07, 2008

    Makes sense. Burleson's poison pill in his contract stipulated that if at any time the entire running back position was making under 7 million dollars, his entire contract would be guaranteed. If they sign these running backs and get up over 7 million, then it would allow them to deal SA, without paying Burleson 49 million.

    Posted by JC

    12:12 PM, Mar 07, 2008

    The Hawks need to do whatever possible to draft Jonathan Stewart. Get him in camp!

    Posted by KG

    1:25 PM, Mar 07, 2008

    Does anyone know our free agent situation next year? I think Lofa may be a free agent next year. If so, I think we need to really just put this money away and focus on the draft.

    We need a TE first, CB depth and a big DT (even more now that Darby is gone and Tubbs has a tendency to get hurt). We can fill these needs in a draft because other than a TE, its filling depth.

    Jones is a waste of money. Let's save the money and not sign someone just to sign someone - we have too many backs now with the Duckett signing. Focus on paying our draft picks and Trufant to a long-term deal - and save that money for next year where we can make a bigger splash in a stronger free-agent pool...and of course sign the heart of our defense, Lofa.

    Posted by jam

    5:42 PM, Mar 07, 2008

    Get him now....Julius is the answer to our awful running game. if seattle is to stay on top of the NFC WEST for years to come..Julius is the man to do it

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