Nothing seemingly motivates a player to have a landmark season more than money. Muhsin Muhammad was the perfect example last year. In a contract year, he posted the best numbers of his life. This season, there are several notable performers to watch as they possibly increase their intensity in anticipation of a new deal with their current team or big bucks in free agency during the next offseason. Of course, there are also a few players who might not excel even with big decisions on their futures looming.
Shaun Alexander: He finally relented and signed a one-year tender, and Alexander could be motivated to have a simply outstanding year as he looks ahead to possible free agency. He could push for the rushing title again after a narrow miss in '04. That could only help his negotiating stance after this season.