RENTON, Wash. — The Edgerrin James saga with the Seahawks is dragging on.
James did not practice with the Seahawks on Tuesday, a day after the league's active leading rusher reportedly had reached an agreement on a free-agent contract with the team.
James' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, was inside team headquarters into Tuesday afternoon. He refused to comment publicly.
It was a day of innuendo, speculation and no comments befitting the arrival of a rushing king in his prime, instead of a 31-year-old unemployed running back who was benched for the first time in his career last season by Arizona. In April, the Cardinals finally granted James' wish to be released.
Seahawks coach Jim Mora had nothing to say Tuesday. A team spokesman said there was "nothing new to report" — even though bruiser T.J. Duckett was suddenly out of practice hours after an Internet report that the veteran running back was about to be waived to make roster room for the more elusive James.
Team president Tim Ruskell and his top deputies who handle Seahawks personnel and contracts, Ruston Webster and John Idzik, were not on the sidelines as they usually are during practice. And Rosenhaus was in Seattle. So a deal with the man who is 11th on the NFL's all-time rushing list with 12,121 yards seemed imminent.
As did Seattle's release of Duckett.
Duckett was still on the roster, yet the team held him out of practice. Seattle is at its preseason roster limit and will have to shed someone to add James.
Duckett's agent, Joel Segal, did not respond to messages left by The Associated Press.
The lone veteran tailback remaining on Seattle's roster who stands to lose carries if James arrives is Julius Jones.
"No. I'm not worried about that," the former lead back with the Dallas Cowboys said, after he practiced for the second time in 12 days following a bruised thigh. "All I'm working on is trying to get myself better. ...
"We'll wait and see," Jones said. "I guess in a day or two, it will work itself out."
Seattle has new offensive coordinator Greg Knapp installing his highly successful zone-blocking scheme for this season. He had been planning to use a triumvirate to run behind it: Jones, Duckett and elusive, still-developing second-year man Justin Forsett.
In 12 combined seasons, they have rushed for 5,125 fewer yards than James. The 10-year veteran and former star with the Indianapolis Colts is within 158 yards of both Marcus Allen and Marshall Faulk on the league's all-time rushing list, and he is 191 yards behind Jim Brown for eighth.
"Yeah. I watched 'Edge' quite a bit. I know he's a good back," Jones said. "He's definitely a great back and somebody I've always watched."
James had 794 carries for 2,895 yards and 16 touchdowns in his three seasons in Arizona. He topped 1,000 yards in 2006 and again in 2007 but was benched for seven games early in '08 as the Cardinals went with rookie Tim Hightower.
James asked Arizona to release him then. The Cardinals refused, and he was reinserted into the lineup late in the season. His resurgence during the playoffs gave Arizona the running game it had lacked and sparked the team to James' only Super Bowl.
Before the Cardinals released him, James had one year and $5 million remaining on the four-year, $40 million deal he signed with Arizona before the 2006 season.