Seahawks add Edge to running game

Posted Aug 25, 2009

Seattle has officially signed Edgerrin James to a 1-year contract. The NFL's leading active rusher is expected to be at practice tomorrow.


The Seahawks have added a double-edged option to their running game.

Edgerrin James, the leading rusher among active NFL players, signed a one-year contract Monday night. He is expected to be at practice Wednesday.

To clear a roster spot, the club terminated the contract of running back T.J. Duckett.

The player his teammates call “Edge” comes to the Seahawks with a bit of an edge, as well. Frustrated by his reduced role with the NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals last season, James asked to be released during the offseason. He got his wish after the Cardinals selected Ohio State running back Chris Wells in the April draft.

James, 31, will get to play the Cardinals twice this season – Oct. 18 at Qwest Field and Nov. 15 in Arizona.

The former NFL rookie of the year had two 100-yard rushing games last year, the second coming against the Seahawks in the regular-season finale.

James will serve as the backup to Julius Jones with the Seahawks, who have averaged 2.9 yards on 56 running plays in their first two preseason games as the linemen and backs adapt to the zone-blocking scheme that offensive coordinator Greg Knapp is installing.

“I can’t really say too much about it. I don’t really know the details right now,” Jones said after practice, and before James was signed. “All I am working on is trying to get myself better. I have been out for a week and a half (with a bruised tight). I do know that whatever happens doesn’t have any impact on me. We’ll wait and see, and in a day or two it will all work itself out.”

Jones was going to share carries with Duckett, and even Justin Forsett, so the thought of James now getting them did not faze him.

“No, not worried about that,” he said. “Like I said, I have been out for a week and a half so I am focusing on getting my thigh bruise right and everything else will work itself out.”

Since being the fourth pick overall in the 1999 draft by the Indianapolis Colts, James has run for 12,121 yards and scored 91 touchdowns (80 rushing, 11 receiving). He rushed for 1,553 and 1,709 yards in this first two seasons with the Colts. From 2003-2007, James averaged 1,339 rushing yards and scored 46 rushing touchdowns.

That’s a lot of yardage – and a lot of carries (300-plus from 2003-07). So the Seahawks gave James an extensive physical, which is why the signing took longer than initial reports anticipated. He and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, were at the team’s facility most of the day.

Duckett led the Seahawks with eight rushing touchdowns last year in his first season with the club. He was effective in his role as the short-yardage and goal-line back.

The third running back remains Forsett, who plays special teams and also has been productive this preseason with his runs after catch on screen passes.