I know a lot of people are interested in the effect of cutting Alexander, so here's my best attempt to explain it. Shaun signed an 8 year contract in 2006. Within it, Seattle offered Shaun an 11.5 million dollar signing bonus. Now, for the purposes of the cap, that money is spread evenly over all 8 years, 1.4375 million a year. Seattle has paid out 2 years worth of that bonus: 2.875 million, and has 6 more years to pay. If Alexander is cut, that entire remaining bonus is accelerated to the cap year of the cut: 8.625 million. Alexander's cap number for 2008 is only 7.35 million, so the Hawks would be paying more for Alexander to not play than to play. It might be worth it. Nevertheless, Seattle can cut Alexander after June 1st (or simply mark him as a June 1st cut) and split that hit over two seasons. In the first season, Alexander's cap hit from his bonus will be the same: 1.4375, but the rest will be accelerated to 2009 totaling a whopping 7.1875 against the already strapped 2009 cap. That's unfeasible. Seattle is in a better cap situation this year than next, so it makes no sense to designate him a June 1st cut. That's some serious dead money and would likely cost Seattle some serious talent. So, what makes sense for Seattle is to either cut him now, take the hit (if they can) on this year's cap and be done with it, or wait until next offseason and designate him a June 1st cut then. The latter would save Seattle 7 million much needed cap dollars in 2009, and with only 5 years remaining on the contract, only count 5.75 million against the 2010, sure to be larger, cap. I could be missing something; I don't have his contract in front of me, but it fits what I know about the cap and Tim Ruskell's decision not to cut or even consider cutting Alexander. So there you go, I hope this clears things up a bit. Barring a trade, Alexander is likely to be a Hawk next year. Hooray.
Figuring Shaun Alexander's Salary Cap Number
By John Morgan