Phone etiquette and free-agent realities
Posted by Danny O'Neil
Whenever someone starts talking about football as a business -- be it a player, executive or reporter -- there's a fairly good chance that someone just got the business end of the stick.
And on Tuesday, the realities of the business became evident when the Seattle Seahawks told Matt Hasselbeck he wouldn't be re-signed. My story on that decision discussed the way that message was relayed: a phone call.
That prompted a fair amount of scrutiny about the impersonal nature, and the story mentioned the lack of a press conference.
That has been interpreted as an implied criticism of the way the franchise handled it. The reality is the team couldn't have a press conference and are prohibited by the league from discussing negotiations until after agreements can be consummated with a signing Friday.
The fact that general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll called Hasselbeck personally was to make sure he heard the news directly from them, and not from media reports or an indirect message through the agent. Hasselbeck's brother, Tim, mentioned on 710 ESPN Seattle that it was a respectful move and one that Matt appreciated.
Professional football is a big-boy business. Hasselbeck had a chance to re-sign with Seattle back in March. He didn't accept the Seahawks offer. It's perfectly valid to criticize the Seahawks for not offering more just as there's room for an interpretation that the offer was very reasonable even if it didn't meet Hasselbeck's asking price.
You can argue the Seahawks should have waited on Hasselbeck's decision or believe that the alternative route of Tarvaris Jackson amounts to a step backward.
But don't criticize the way Schneider and Carroll delivered the decision. They were as respectful as the situation allowed.
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