UPDATE: I’ve confirmed that quarterback Matt Hasselbeck will not return to the Seattle Seahawks in free agency.
I’ve also confirmed that the Seahawks have a deal in place with Minnesota free agent quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who’s expected to arrive in Seattle tonight.
However, Jackson cannot officially sign with Seattle until Friday.
The Seahawks offered the veteran quarterback a multi-year deal with a year of guaranteed money back in March before the lockout began, something they considered a reasonable offer. But Hasselbeck chose not accept the deal because he wanted a multi-year deal in terms of guaranteed compensation, and chose to see what better offers he could get on the open market.
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And once free agency began today, there was a possibility that Seattle’s offer would not still be on the table.
Seattle indeed did not extend an offer sheet to Hasselbeck, choosing to pursue other options at quarterback. And that option is Jackson.Hasselbeck, 35, completes his 10-year stint in Seattle as the team’s all-time passing leader, with nearly 30,000 yards and three Pro Bowl appearances.
Teams reportedly interested in Hasselbeck’s services on the free agent market include Tennessee, Arizona and San Francisco.
Seahawks fans might not be excited about the prospects of Jackson joining Seattle, but the second round pick by the Vikings in 2006 is seen as decent prospect in the NFL scouting community, who possesses the size and arm strength to be a productive quarterback in the league.
But Jackson, 28, had an uneven performance in Minnesota, He finishing 10-10 as a starter, throwing for 3,984 in a six-year NFL career, posting a 58.7 career completion percentage with 24 touchdowns, 22 interceptions and a 76.6 career passer rating. Jackson has served as a back-up two Favre the past, two seasons, finishing 2010 on injured reserve after injuring a foot in December.
Jackson’s looking for another chance to earn a starting job, and likely would be given the opportunity in Seattle to compete with Charlie Whitehurst if the team does not bring back Hasselbeck.
“If free agency would have started in March like it’s supposed to, it would have been a lot different,” Jackson told reporters in Minnesota last week. “But being that it is so late, you would like to go somewhere you're familiar so you have a chance.
“If I go to a new system that I never played in before now, you’re really learning. You’re learning a new offense and just trying to get familiar with the guys. You’re kind of behind the eight-ball. Being that (Seattle will run) the same system, it’s a good opportunity.”