Have the Seahawks really closed the door on Matt Hasselbeck?
Posted by Danny O'Neil
There is precious little time remaining to speculate on the Seahawks' plans at quarterback.
They're going to have to actually do something at that position once free agency begins, which could be as soon as next week.
But that leaves a couple more days for hand wringing about just what Seattle is going to do at what is universally considered the most important decision in football.
So far the season, the discussion has centered around four possibilities:
1. Re-sign Matt Hasselbeck. Just do it, he's the bird in the hand with 10 years of experience in this city and coming off his signature postseason performance.
2. Trade for Kevin Kolb. He went from Donovan McNabb's heir to Michael Vick's backup in the span of a month last year, and if Eagles coach Andy Reid saw him as a viable NFL starter then that's exactly what he is. Trade for him. Now. Even if it takes a first-round pick and a little bit more.
3. Acquire Carson Palmer. Put on your tin-foil hat to espouse this one. After all, this scenario requires the Cincinnati Bengals trading Palmer, something they have stated they will not do.
4. Sign some backups to fill out the roster and roll with Charlie Whitehurst. Left unsaid: Some of the people advocating this plan have stated it's in the hope of losing with such overwhelming regularity that Seattle is in position to choose Stanford's Andrew Luck or another highly regarded quarterback in next year's draft.
Enter Tarvaris Jackson, a second-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2006. ESPN's John Clayton said "it could be Tarvaris Jackson as your starting quarterback for your Seattle Seahawks" on Thursday afternoon on 710 ESPN Seattle. That came on the heels of Clayton's statement he's hearing Hasselbeck may not have an offer to re-sign with Seattle once free agency starts.
Now, before anyone starts groaning like radio hosts Kevin Calabro and Jim Moore did, consider Jackson's resume on its own: He started 20 games in five seasons with Minnesota, the Vikings going 10-10 in those games. His career passer rating is 76.6. He's going to be a free agent, he doesn't fit in the Vikings' long-range plans and he has familiarity with Darrell Bevell, the Seahawks new offensive coordinator who worked with Jackson in Minnesota.
Cost is a consideration here, and by that, we're not talking contract. The Seahawks don't have to give up anything to acquire him, something that would not be true with regard to Kolb nor Palmer. Of course, the same justification exists for simply re-signing Hasselbeck. That won't cost anything other than money, either.
I can see the Seahawks acquiring Jackson in the same way I can see them signing Matt Leinart. It's a player once considered promising who will be looking for a new team. No reason for Seattle not to be interested, thinking that this is a player who could develop into a starter if he's in a better situation. That rationale, however, is a lot different than signing someone with the expectation that the player will be the starter either now or in the future.
It's hard for me to believe that Seattle will not offer Hasselbeck the chance to re-sign. Now, it's possible the Seahawks won't increase their offer for Hasselbeck to re-sign, but that's something very different from stating Seattle won't even make a final offer to Hasselbeck.
That would truly be a remarkable turn of events considering this offseason began with coach Pete Carroll's statement he considered Hasselbeck the team's starting quarterback and that re-signing him was the top priority.
That was January. A lot of time has passed since then, and the two sides failed to reach an agreement in March. Seattle must prepare for the possibility Hasselbeck won't be back. After all, he's not under contract and he's going to be the top free-agent quarterback available. He very well may not be back.
It's just hard for me to believe the door has been closed.
Dec 24 - 6:10 AM Looking back: Revisiting Sunday's scouting report
Dec 24 - 1:09 AM Seahawks' scoring binge
Dec 24 - 1:01 AM Video: Summing Seattle's victory
Dec 24 - 12:58 AM Video: Russell Wilson post-game comments
Dec 24 - 12:21 AM Rookie passing roll call