ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Former league MVP Shaun Alexander signed with the Washington Redskins on Tuesday, part of a flurry of roster activity in which the team ditched its punter, shuffled its safeties and displayed coach Jim Zorn's strong ties to his Seattle Seahawks roots.
Alexander, unemployed since being cut by the Seahawks in April, signed a one-year deal to back up NFL leading rusher Clinton Portis. Portis' usual backup, Ladell Betts, sprained his knee in Sunday's 19-17 loss to the St. Louis Rams and is expected to be sidelined two to four weeks.
A few years ago, a Portis-Alexander backfield would have been a bit much for any team to handle — as both were considered among elite backs in the NFL. Now Alexander, 31, was simply looking for work.
Alexander rushed for 1,880 yards in his 2005 MVP season, but a cracked bone in his left foot ruined his 2006 season (896 yards) and continued to hamper him — along with a broken left wrist — in 2007 (716 yards). This year, the Seahawks decided he was no longer worth the eight-year, $62 million contract he signed after the MVP year.