Tight market could make trade tough

Updated: March 11, 2005, 9:40 AM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

Add Seattle Seahawks franchise halfback Shaun Alexander to join the competition for finding a trading partner in a tight, tough market for tradable running backs.

Earlier this week, the Indianapolis Colts informed Edgerrin James' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, they would be willing to take a "reasonable" trade offer for James, who was franchised last month by the team. James could be had presumably if a team is willing to offer less than a first-round draft choice.

The Seahawks informed Alexander's agents Jim Steiner and Mark Heligman that they would be willing to take less than a first-rounder for their client.

Here's the problem. Only three teams are seriously looking for running backs – the Miami Dolphins, the Arizona Cardinals and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Dolphins, who have the second pick in the draft, are leaning toward drafting a running back in the first round. The Cardinals are open to the idea. The Bucs have a tight salary cap and might not be able to fit in a high cap number on a veteran running back.

Steiner said he's had some initial conversations with some of the teams and there is interest in Alexander just like Rosenhaus has received some interest on James.

Still, it's a tough sell because of the quality of the NFL draft for running backs. Three backs -- Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams of Auburn and Cedric Benson of Texas -- are considered top 10 picks. The Dolphins, Bucs and Cardinals all draft in the top 10.

John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer

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