Now that the Seahawks have apparently got their quarterback of the future in San Diego restricted free agent Charlie Whitehurst, the clock appears to be ticking on Matt Hasselbeck’s future in Seattle.
Hasselbeck is entering the final year of his contract, and will make $5.75 million in 2010. Both Pete Carroll and John Schneider have voiced their support for Hasselbeck since arriving in Seattle in January. However, Hasselbeck will be 35 in September and is coming off one of his worst seasons as a pro, where he threw as many touchdowns (17) as interceptions.
Hasselbeck has had trouble staying healthy the past two seasons, and by releasing Deon Grant, trading Darryl Tapp and now trading for Whitehurst, Carroll and Schneider have shown that they are not afraid to make bold moves in order to change the makeup of this team. Trading Hasselbeck may be another move in that process.
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Further, by trading Hasselbeck the team clears the way to begin playing Whitehurst now and accelerating his development process by getting him on the field early.
Whitehurst has limited experience in the regular season, so the Seahawks need to see how he will react as a leader on the field. With someone like Hasselbeck still on the team – Hasselbeck has a big personality and has been an accomplished quarterback in the league – it might be hard for someone like Whitehurst to flourish and assert himself with Hasselbeck still around.
Seattle also had to give up some valuable picks to secure Whitehurst, and might be looking at moving Hasselbeck as a way to get more picks in this year’s draft, which is considered one of the more talent-rich drafts in recent memory.
Teams like Washington, Buffalo, Jacksonville and St. Louis are still looking for quarterbacks and might be willing to deal for someone with the pedigree of Hasselbeck.