For the second time this week, the Seattle Seahawks have landed a free agent running back. NFL Network's Adam Schefter reports the team reached an agreement on a four-year deal worth up to $16 million Friday with former Cowboys running back Julius Jones.
The contract includes $4 million guaranteed, and $5.5 million in the first year of the deal, Schefter reports. This week, the Seahawks have signed former Lions running back T.J. Duckett and have now landed Jones, leaving less room in the backfield and on the team's salary cap for former NFL MVP Shaun Alexander and/or Seahawks running back Maurice Morris.
Jones, who spent his first four seasons in Dallas, is two years removed from the only 1,000-yard season of his career, when he rushed for 1,084 yards and four touchdowns in 2006. Last year, Jones was displaced in favor of Pro Bowler Marion Barber, and rushed for only 588 yards and two scores, the lowest numbers of his career.
Jones will turn 27 in August.
Seattle has dedicated this offseason to remodeling its running game, hiring former Kansas City offensive coordinator Mike Solari as offensive line coach and signing former Pro Bowl offensive guard Mike Wahle.
Duckett's signing was thought to potentially be a complement to Alexander, to help Seattle mostly in short-yardage situations the Seahawks' have struggled with the last two seasons.
But the Jones' deal could be a sign the team is going in a different direction.
Seattle's running game has significantly fallen off since Alexander was the league MVP for the 2005 season. That was when he rushed for 1,880 yards and 27 touchdowns as the Seahawks reached the Super Bowl.
Alexander has been injured and ineffective since, and Seattle has averaged just 4.0 yards per carry in 2006 and 3.8 last season.
Information from the Associated Press was included in this report.