This was so inevitable that I talked about it twice last month... Here's the relevant passages if you didn't want to click on those links...
I always had mixed feelings about SA. I was never a flat-out hater, booing him at home games... but he was also never even close to one of my favorite players either. I never wanted a #37 jersey, for example. Why? Look at this guy's resume:
-2005 NFL MVP (including 28 touchdowns and 1880 rushing yards)
-112 career touchdowns (#1 in Seahawks history; #14 in NFL history)
-9,429 career rushing yards (#1 in Seahawks history)
But there's also a lot of stuff that, frankly, made him look like a self-centered pussy:
-The "stab in the back" comment after failing to win the NFL rushing crown in 2004.
-Rightly or wrongly, his rushing style made him often look like a douche. It may have saved wear and tear and prolonged his career, but it also didn't help him look like a hard-nosed tough guy.
-The (hopefully) coincidence that his best season occurred when he was up for a huge new contract, followed by a dizzying decline in production thereafter.
-His lack of abilty/enthusiasm in pass blocking and/or pass catching out of the backfield, forcing Holmgren to take one of his best players off the field in a lot of situations.
How should he be remembered? He won't (and shouldn't) get into Canton, but he should certainly end up in the Seahawks Ring of Honor ASAP. Here's what I'll remember as the top 5 highlights of his Seattle career:
5. 201 yards on 40(!) carries in the snow v. GB on MNF in 2006
4. His 88-yard TD run at Arizona in 2005
3. FIVE first-half TDs v. Minnesota on SNF in 2002
2. 266 yards and 3 TDs on Sunday Night Football v. Oakland in 2001
1. 132 yards on 34 carries/2 TDs in the 2005 NFC Title Game victory over Carolina
I'm completely in favor of his release. I simply think he's got nothing left, and we are in the business of trying to win XLIII, not wallowing in the past.
However, a lot of the fan reaction has me flummoxed... In my unscientific survey of online reaction (and frankly, out here in Illinois I have little else to go on), I've found most of it to be rabidly negative towards Alexander. There's a depressing "good riddance" edge to a lot of the online chatter about SA, and that's completely unfair... and retarded.
Let's face facts, y'all.. As much as we might not like his running style or his personality, this is the truth about SA:
-He's the only Seahawk to ever be named NFL MVP.
-He's one of the top five players in Seahawks history (I rank him up there with Jones, Largent, Hasselbeck and Easley). Even if you want to argue about that, he's the greatest running back in Seattle history, and that's a group that includes Curt Warner, Ricky Watters and Chris Warren.
-Without him, we would still be part of the pathetic franternity of teams who have never been to a Super Bowl. Isn't it nice to hold something over the Cardinals, Saints, Lions, Browns, Texans, and Jaguars?
Yes, he's gotta go. But why all the hate for a guy who was absolutely essential to the greatest season (and greatest era) in Seattle Seahawks history?