The list reads like a Pro Bowl roster: Terrell Owens, Richard Seymour, John Abraham and Javon Walker are all unhappy with their contract situations.

Add Shaun Alexander to the list. The Seahawks running back told The Seattle Times this week that signing a $6.32 million franchise tender is “out of the question.”

Alexander has been upset for months, but his recent comments are the strongest yet. Though it seems his anger started when he fell a yard shy of a rushing title last season, Alexander told the paper there is no strain in his relationship with coach Mike Holmgren.

Instead, he said he wanted to have his contract extended earlier in his career.

“I told them three years ago that I love playing here and let’s do something now. Let’s meet,” Alexander told the paper. “I said, You know what? My wife’s here. My family’s here. I want to be here until I retire. It’s really funny because back then I would have worked for peanuts.

“Two Pro Bowls and 3,000 yards and 36 touchdowns later, now it’s time to talk? And I’m like, Why would you do this?’ So now it’s just one of those things where I say, Let’s do what’s right.’ I’m not trying to be evil or greedy or anything, let’s just do what’s right.”

Teams cannot start negotiating with franchised players again until July 15.

Seymour certainly feels he deserves a bigger payday. The Patriots All-Pro is one of the best defensive linemen in the game but is still playing out a six-year deal he signed as a rookie, and is due to make $2.87 million this season and $1.22 million in 2006.

Meanwhile, players such as Patrick Kearney, Bertrand Berry and Kevin Carter are slated to earn more than $5 million in 2005. Seymour has been unhappy with the situation for more than a year, and missed a mandatory minicamp in June to show his displeasure.

Abraham is in a similar situation to Alexander. The Jets Pro Bowl defensive end wants a long-term commitment and never signed his $6.7 million tender, missing offseason workouts and minicamp. Though Abraham has a reason to feel slighted – the Jets doled out big money to Shaun Ellis and Chad Pennington last year – the Jets put the franchise tag on him because they want to keep him and not risk losing him during free agency.

Plus, Abraham has been injury prone, so it would make sense for the Jets to wait before giving him a long-term deal. What makes the situation even stranger is Abraham said during the season he would have no problem being franchised.

“I can’t be mad at that,” Abraham said in December. “It sounds bad, and people harp over it. If I get franchise, I get franchise. I’ll just have another thing to prove next year. It won’t be bad.”

As for Owens, the Eagles star receiver held out of offseason minicamps because he wants to renegotiate the $49 million, seven-year deal he signed in March 2004. Walker took heavy criticism from quarterback Brett Favre for holding out of Packers minicamps, wanting more than the base salary of $515,000 he is scheduled to make this year.

And Pro Bowl players aren’t the only ones who are unhappy. Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin missed minicamp because he wants a deal like the one Larry Fitzgerald got as a rookie.

And then there is Packers tackle Grady Jackson, who has a year left on a two-year, $2.31 million deal. The 32-year-old Jackson has had arthroscopic knee surgery each of the last two offseasons. Last season, he dislocated a kneecap in the opening game and missed more than a month before returning to action.

Looking ahead

Early bets for easiest schedule to start the season? St. Louis. Toughest? Atlanta. The Rams open with four games against teams with losing records in 2004. The fun begins at San Francisco (2-14), then continues at Arizona (6-10), home against Tennessee (5-11) and at the New York Giants (6-10).

With an improved defense and the emergence of Steven Jackson, the Rams are hoping to improve on their 8-8 record from last season, when they squeaked into the playoffs.

As for Atlanta, the Falcons play both teams that played in the Super Bowl early on. Things start with a rematch against the Eagles (13-3) at home, then at Seattle (9-7, NFC West champs), at Buffalo (9-7, never an easy place to play), home against what should be a much-improved Minnesota team (8-8, wild card) and then home against the Patriots (14-2, Super Bowl champs).

Atlanta has never had back-to-back winning seasons, so starting 2005 with such a tough schedule might make it even harder to accomplish the feat. The Falcons and Michael Vick will want to prove their 27-10 loss to the Eagles in the NFC championship game last season was a fluke. Philadelphia dominated the gifted Vick, who went 11-of-24 passing, was sacked four times and threw a key interception in the loss.

Always a Raider

So “Mr. Raider” will retire a Raider. What a perfect way to end a career.

The news that Tim Brown will sign with Oakland so he can retire as a member of the team came out earlier this week, and put a classy ending on a 17-year career. The soon-to-be 39-year-old Brown left the Raiders last August when he refused to accept a diminished role.

He went to Tampa Bay and finished his career there, with former coach Jon Gruden.

It is nice to see the longest-tenured player in Raiders history take his place with the club again. Here is hoping Jerry Rice will do the same with San Francisco when he decides to hang up his cleats.

Tuning in

Sirius Satellite Radio will air every game of the 2005 NFL preseason live.

The broadcasts start with the American Bowl, featuring the Indianapolis Colts and the Atlanta Falcons from the Tokyo Dome in Japan on Aug. 6. In most cases, Sirius will provide listeners with the home and away team local radio broadcasts.

The NFL’s annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, featuring the Miami Dolphins and the Chicago Bears will be played Aug. 8 and three different broadcasts will be available: CBS Radio Sports/Westwood One, WBBM Radio in Chicago and 790 The Ticket’ in Miami.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.