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

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March 7, 2008 5:17 PM

Report: Julius Jones signs with Seattle

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Julius Jones could agree to a contract with Seattle as early as Friday, according to NFL Network's Adam Schefter. This was reported on NFL Network's Total Access show.

The addition of Jones could be a lead-up to the departure of Shaun Alexander.

Update: Schefter is reporting the agreement has been reached. Jones' agent has not returned a message. Here's a link to Schefter's story on the league's official Web site right here.

Update, 6:17 p.m.: The question now becomes what will happen to Alexander. His contract calls for him to make $4.475 million in salary next season. He counts $6.775 million against the salary cap because of the pro-rated portion of his signing bonus (an $11.5 million signing bonus is divided over the first 5 years of his deal). If the Seahawks waived him immediately, they would not be responsible for his salary, but he would count $6.9 million against this year's salary cap. If he was designated a post-June 1 release, he would count $2.3 million against the cap this year, $4.6 million next season.

Update, 6:57 p.m. This is pointed out in our online story, but it bears mentioning here, too. I have confirmed that the addition of Jones does not necessitate the release of Alexander. A better way of saying that is the Seahawks have room for both under the salary-cap configuration.

That's one of the most pressing questions to come from this signing is how it relates to Shaun. Now, we're just going to have to wait and see. All along, the indications are the team would set about improving its running game from last season. They have certainly made moves in that direction. Now that they've added two backs in Duckett and Jones, we'll have to wait and see where that leaves the team with Alexander.

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Posted by Ben

5:28 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Really? Does this give us any explosiveness? I don't think so...

Posted by Sparticus

5:33 PM, Mar 07, 2008

NFL.com is reporting Julius Jones has signed with the Hawks.

Posted by Guarddog

5:39 PM, Mar 07, 2008

I hope he came cheap...

Posted by AddRock1

5:43 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Wow. Not sure I saw this coming. I thought the Hawks were considering to keep Alexander for the coming season since his cap number was essentially the same regardless of whether he was cut or not. Anybody know how this affects our salary cap issues? I realize we'd need to know the size of Jones' contract first, but I'd be very interested to know how this will affect our ability to sign our draft picks as well as offer contract extensions to our own young stars (Tatupu & Hill).

Posted by Thomas

5:50 PM, Mar 07, 2008

I hope the signing is a prelude to a Shaun Alexander trade. With the salary cap being so tight, I don't see how they would fit Jones in unless his contract is back loaded. I know cutting Alexander won't save them that much cap space.

Posted by rossco

5:56 PM, Mar 07, 2008

i read something somewhere, maybe seahawkaddicts.com, saying that there is a way that they could cut SA after June 1st (or something - can't quite remember the details) and save themselves 4.5M of cap money. i'm not a fan of this move and i'm not sure what ruskell has planned.

Posted by AddRock1

6:06 PM, Mar 07, 2008

KJR radio is speculating the deal is 4yrs at around $3 million per. Not sure of their source, since Schefter's story doesn't have any of those details published just yet.

Posted by IslandHawkFan

6:09 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Ya espn is reporting that the deal is indeed 4 years at 3mil a year

Posted by rossco

6:10 PM, Mar 07, 2008

perhaps the're trading SA to acquire more picks or move up in the first round? big Walt is getting old - i wouldn't mind finding his future replacement in the first round.

i said this before and i'll say it again, I'd love to see the 'hawks pick up Larry Tripplett, who was released by Buffalo. he's stout and strong and would be a great addition, especially after the loss of Darby (and probably Wyms). plus he's a UW guy and you know we always go after guys with NW ties.

Posted by AB

6:23 PM, Mar 07, 2008

ESPN.com is reporting that the Hawks agreed to a deal in principle with Jone tonight!!! WOO HOO!

Posted by KG

6:30 PM, Mar 07, 2008

This is a terrible signing - this is no upgrade from Shaun. Just ask Cowboys fans. Ruskell has torn Holmgren's team apart.

Posted by blakely16

6:36 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Bye Shaun, thanks for the good years. We never should have given you that 8 year deal. I like Jones coming in.

Posted by hawksfan

6:37 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Julius Jones is TERRIBLE. I can't believe this is happening. I would take Shaun over Julius any day of the week - and twice on Sundays.

Posted by alan

6:45 PM, Mar 07, 2008

This is a huge mistake. They signed Wahle for Shaun to run behind. The cap savings is not that much to keep him and give him another chance to earn his signing bonus. TJ Ducket would have been great on short Yards.
Thanks Shaun you don't desrve this. Fans are nuts you get hurt and they trade away the Hutch and its your fault. Heck half the ime he was cought in the back field. That you can blame on the O line.

Posted by Keith C

7:07 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Any of you guys ever consider that maybe we will trade Mo Morris...a lot of teams would be lucky to have him. He doesn't really fit our organization, he could do better elsewhere. I don't think Matt of Mike would be happy with Shaun leaving. They both love him. Maybe Jones is for the future.

Also for everyone who busts on Jones...He isn't bad at all. He's not the best, but he is far from bad. Talented RB.

Posted by Shane-O

7:13 PM, Mar 07, 2008

No offense to Alexander but all he's capable of these days is a three yard gain off a toss play to the TE side.

I'm not saying Julius Jones is the answer but he'll be the most explosive back on this roster. He is capable of the big run, something Alexander just can't do anymore.

JJ on 1st & 2nd down, Mo Morris on 3rd & Duckett on the goal line.

Let's see what happens!

Posted by kurbanb

7:18 PM, Mar 07, 2008

IMO the combo of Jones/Duckett/Morris (don't forget Weaver) + the addition of Wahle is substantially better than anything we have had since 2005 re: ground game.

Posted by Go hawks

7:19 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Iím no a fan of JJ but if we donít get one of the two backs in the draft we are better at rb because we wont have to take our starter off to pass to the back and its less money and if we do get one of the two backs in the draft we have a cheap vet to help him to develop

Posted by lwl

7:20 PM, Mar 07, 2008

At least we upgraded the backup positions. I like the additional RB's, linemen, and coaches. Goodbye Morris and 2nd FB.

Posted by Brian

7:25 PM, Mar 07, 2008

super bowl!!!!!!!

Posted by Jeff

7:38 PM, Mar 07, 2008

I sure hope that if Stewart or Mendenhall are available at the hawks pick that they would still use that first rounder on one of those guys.

But I do find it laughable at places like scout.com where so many posters are against this signing and somehow the logic is that Shaun/Duckett/Momo is way better than Julius/Duckett/Momo? Shaun was gone after this season anyway. He can't catch, he can't run, he never could block, he's past the falloff age for rbs, and he's injury prone. You want that as your primary halfback option? Even if they keep Shaun, this gives the offense some options.

Jones is not a bad signing if the guaranteed money isn't bad. That's the key, because if he doesn't work out, he gets cut. It's as simple as that. If he gets a ton of guaranteed money, then yeah you can string up Ruskell. But until I read otherwise, I see nothing wrong with this signing and a lot of upside if Jones reports in shape.

Posted by Bill

7:47 PM, Mar 07, 2008

well we shored up our running back situation, i like it all, if shawn doesnt perform , now we have others who can, MO wasnt that great,as a back up, JJ can catch, tj well he can flat out play , gives us alot more versatillity...now we dont need to draft a back , we can draft else where...like TE or WR , we need a big and fast guy..

Posted by TechCity

7:51 PM, 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 84Hawk

7:59 PM, Mar 07, 2008

stupid, stupid, stupid...jones is not a good back...why do you think the 'Boys cut him? He's as soft, or softer than Alexander!

Posted by Michael

8:14 PM, Mar 07, 2008

I can't argue with that comment, Jones is even worse than Alexander. That's a waste of money, just like Thierry Henry signing a new 4-year conract with Arsenal prior to the 2006/2007 Premiership season and a month after the season ended he transfers to Barcelona, Arsenal just wasted money on that and now the Seahawks are wasting money on a back that's crapier than Shaun Alexander.

Posted by No.12

8:20 PM, Mar 07, 2008

I don't remember Burleson's contract having any poison pill related to the Hawks' running backs salaries...if I remember correctly, Burleson's contract would be guaranteed for $47M if he played more than 5 games per year in Minnesota.

Posted by setht

8:25 PM, Mar 07, 2008

84 hawk-

Jones was not cut from Dallas...He was a free agent!!!

I like the moves the hawks have made, however if our line is not improved the RB position means nothing.

Could you guys get off on the J. Stewart. He is an injured prone guy that the Hawks do not need!

Posted by Styngray1976

9:40 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Let's just hope the wind at Qwest doesn't blow him down. Did anybody see the way he drops on first contact? Wonder why the Cowboys let him test Free Agency.

Dumb Signing

Posted by Mike

9:54 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Get off of Stewart b/c he's injury prone? So... are you saying Julius Jones isn't injury prone?

Posted by smuzle

10:03 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Dallas Blog: Julius will rush for about 1,700 yards in '08

"I wouldn't go out on a limb like this if Julius Jones, who was just a guy around these parts, signed with any other team but the Seahawks. But he's professed his love for Qwest Field's "fast track" and performed like a Pro Bowler on it."

Read it here at - http://cowboysblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2008/03/julius-will-rush-for-about-1700-yards-in.html

While a bit optimistic I would say, but Qwest field sure has been known to bring the best out of certain players - maybe JJ will be one of them. Ask Kearney!

Posted by salemdawg

10:06 PM, Mar 07, 2008

People need to remember how the Giants won a Super Bowl this year: a good TE (rookie) and a three-headed monstor at RB.

This is a win-win for the Hawks - RBBC (running back by committee) is the newest trend in the NFL because it keeps everyone healthy and fresh all season long.

Kudos to the Hawks! I'm glad I re-newed my season tix for another season.

Posted by Danny O.

10:19 PM, Mar 07, 2008

TechCity is correct about part of Nate Burleson's so-called poison-pill clause relating to running back salaries. However, my understanding is that applied only to the salaries at the time of execution of the offer sheet (i.e. when Burleson initially signed). Also, Burleson subsequently renegotiated the deal, taking out all the extra money the Seahawks pumped into that offer to make it $49 million. So this is not spurred at all by an effort to avoid guaranteeing that sum.

Posted by Patrick F.

10:19 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Jones is the not the answer for the running game. I'm not upset that he was signed, but just hope it isn't long term. I'd rather see the Hawks draft Alexander's successor. Will him and Alexander split carries?

Duckett must've been signed as the starting full back. I'm guessing these signings lead to either Alexander's release or trade.

Posted by BlueThru&Thru

11:17 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Alexander WILL NOT BE TRADED!! Why? Because doing so would me WE ARE ON THE LINE for his whole signing bonus, so we would take a massive cap hit this year. Get educated, guys.

By cutting SA, designating him as a June 1st cut, we save 4 million this year. His whole base salary goes away, and we only pay a portion of his signing bonus, 2 million. We would owe 4 million next year on it, but also, Wistrom's 4 million in dead cap money will be gone, so our cap wouldn't see an increase, it would net out.

We can do a June 1st cut of any player BEFORE June 1st for one more player, we already did it for Ashworth, and are limited to 2 "early" June first cuts. By designating two players as June 1st cuts, or cutting them actually after June 1st, you get rid of their salary, and only have to pay about half of their signing bonus value in the current year. It's a good way to lower your cap hit for a player for the upcoming season.

Posted by MattySimone

8:26 AM, Mar 08, 2008

Happy to see this move, even though I dont think JJ is the rite choice. A new team and city may be good for JJ and TJ. would like o see mo morris kept around, as for alexander peace out brother!!! was NOT a fan of the contract they gave him. and further more I dont think he has tried as hard as he could after the contract was signed. GOOD RIDDANCE ALEXANDER!!!! YOUR A OVER PAID CRY BABY AND ITS LOOKS LIKE SEATTLE DID DO THIS TO ONE OF THERE PEOPLE!!!! haha or maybe you werent one of there people!!! I hope you sent a great gift to the OL that earned you that contract, you were only as good as them and garbage without them! have fun kickin it with casey treat!!!!

Posted by Notagreener

9:36 AM, Mar 08, 2008

So in keeping with the Hawks M.O. of "best available player" in the draft, and with so many mock drafts having Stewart or Mendenhall on the board when the Seahawks pick, AND with four (three?) running backs on the roster, do we still go for a RB, or do we hope for some player at another position (OL, TE, DL) that could justifiably be considered the best available?

Posted by Fredwilo

10:14 AM, Mar 08, 2008

All the mock drafts I'm seeing have Stewart and Mendenhall gone by the time the Hawks draft. I think this signing covers them if they can't get an impact back in the draft. And I am a Cowboys fan. JJ is a good, not great, back. He is not a grinder but has another gear that Alexander does not possess anymore.

Posted by Juan Sabor

10:20 AM, Mar 08, 2008

As a Cowboys fan all I can tell you is this...His nickname is, Two-steps, fall down. Not a tear was shed when he left and he will not be missed. He was consistently booed by the fans and never earned his money. Bad signing by the 'hawks.

Posted by Taurus

8:52 PM, Mar 08, 2008

Ever since Mack Strong was injured the short yardage game ceased to exist. All the top RB's will probably be gone when the hawks get to pick so picking up Duckett and Jones is not such a bad idea!

Posted by cornholio

1:40 AM, Mar 09, 2008

NO WAY

Posted by T-Hast12

3:32 PM, Mar 09, 2008

Jones is good for basically one 30-yard-ish scamper a week, often on a pass out of the backfield. I think he will complement Duckett well and this setup might actually work for us. I would try to trade Morris now and cut Shaun next offseason.

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