HONOLULU (Feb. 12, 2006) -- Shaun Alexander may have Carolina on his mind.
Alexander, who sat out the Pro Bowl because of a sprained right foot, said contract negotiations with the Seattle Seahawks will continue Feb. 13. But the NFL's Most Valuable Player said he's open to playing elsewhere.
"I never really thought up until I got out here that I could be on another team, but it was really neat to see me with Carolina guys and having fun like that," he said following the NFC's 23-17 victory over the AFC. "It was different, but it was definitely neat."
Several NFC teammates spent the past few days, half jokingly wooing Alexander. He will become one of the league's most coveted free agents if he doesn't re-sign with the Seahawks before March 3.
"Honestly, whatever happens, I'm going to be happy. I'm going to be satisfied," he said. "It is an exciting opportunity for me, having all these teams basically come at me and sign me. That's cool."
The Panthers, who lost to the Seahawks in the NFC championship game, may have left the strongest impression.
There were four Carolina players on the NFC including quarterback Jake Delhomme, receiver Steve Smith, defensive end Julius Peppers and guard Mike Wahle. Not to mention the entire coaching staff.
"At the same time, we've already started with Seattle and the conversations will continue tomorrow and we told them if it's correct, it's correct. But if it's not, we're going to play the field," Alexander said. "If Carolina comes correct or Arizona, or whoever else it could be, Jacksonville, whoever, that is what it is."
Alexander led the NFL with a team-record 1,880 yards rushing and a league-record 28 touchdowns, and gained 95 yards on 20 carries in the Super Bowl.
The three-time Pro Bowl player said the Seahawks' spectacular season won't factor in his decision.
"I'm a firm believer that I'm going to get back to the Super Bowl," he said. "They know what they have to do. I tell them that in a loving way. But if they don't, I'm prepared to go off and play the market."
Alexander said the trip to Hawaii helped close the year.
"I kind of realized there was life after this season. We were just on a grind and I just felt our team, as a group, just came together so much. We just achieved so much this year, it was awesome," he said. "This was just a great opportunity to take a deep breath and say, OK, let's see what happens next year."