Seahawks release RB Alexander

KIRKLAND, WASHINGTON (TICKER) —The Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday cut ties with star running back Shaun Alexander.

The Seahawks released Alexander after the veteran running back had his surgically repaired wrist examined Tuesday.

The 2005 league MVP, Alexander has been hampered by a variety of injuries over the last two seasons.

Last month, Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said the team could not release Alexander until his left wrist had healed.

“This was an extremely difficult decision,” said team president and general manager Tim Ruskell. “We thank Shaun for his commitment both on and off the field over the last eight years. He played a huge role in the renaissance of football in Seattle and for that we will always be grateful.”

The all-time rushing leader in Seahawks franchise history, Alexander appeared in 13 games - 10 starts - last season, rushing for just 716 yards and four touchdowns.

Those numbers constituted Alexander’s lowest rushing and scoring totals since his rookie season in 2000. It also marked the second straight season that Alexander missed significant time since signing a $62 million contract in March 2006.

Alexander, though, announced in a statement that he planned to play for another team next season.

I am healthy, energized and looking forward to beginning the next chapter of my NFL career,” he said. “I started my NFL career in Seattle and hoped I could remain with the team through the rest of my days as a player. That said, things change.”

The Seahawks indicated their intention to cut ties with Alexander earlier this offseason when they brought in free agent running back Julius Jones, who signed a four-year deal on March 7. Seattle also signed free agent running back T.J. Duckett.

A three-time Pro Bowler, Alexander arguably was the NFL’s most productive running back over a five-year stretch from 2001-05, rushing for at least 1,175 yards and scoring at least 16 touchdowns every season during that stint.

Alexander capped that run in 2005 with the best season of his career when he ran for 1,880 yards and 27 TDs, an NFL single-season record at the time.

But after signing the eight-year contract which made him the richest running back in NFL history, Alexander struggled with injuries during the 2006 campaign, rushing for 896 yards while missing six games to nurse a broken foot.

The 19th overall draft selection in 2000, Alexander has spent his entire eight-year career with Seattle, rushing for 9,429 yards and 100 TDs.

Alexander started started 97 of 119 career games and holds or shares at least 37 franchise single-game, single-season and career records.

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Updated Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008