In a recent wide-ranging interview with Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe, veteran Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said that he is hopeful that he will return to the team, even though the Seattle front office has decided to let him test the market before making any decisions about the free-agents future with the franchise.
Acquired via trade before the 2001 season, Hasselbeck was the Seahawks quarterback through the team’s most successful stretch of time, including its lone Super Bowl appearance in Febuary of 2006. But things change, and quarterbacks get older. Due in part to iffy personnel decisions on the part of former team president Tim Ruskell, Hasselbeck hasnt enjoyed a season of above-average productivity since 2007.
But that doesnt mean he wouldnt be of some value going forward, especially as the mentor to a young quarterback like Washingtons own Jake Locker.
Hes a great kid, just a wonderful, wonderful guy, Hasselbeck told Bedard. I feel like hes the kind of guy who would be a great leader on a football team. Just really, really gifted and talented. Almost off the charts with his strength and explosiveness and his running ability. Ive just seen him play a little bit, but just an awesome guy to be around. Hes just got some of those qualities that you just cant coach.
And I understand it could be a reality with me this year, whether its with the Seahawks or wherever that Im with a guy like that, a young guy.
As he grew into his role with the Seahawks under a demanding taskmaster in Mike Holmgren, Hasselbeck enjoyed the benefits of mentorship from teammate Trent Dilfer, so he understands the need to pay it forward.
I was fortunate in my career to be around some great veteran quarterbacks and just learned so much from them, Hasselbeck said. Im kind of excited for that kind of an opportunity to maybe be on a team with a really talented young guy and just get the opportunity to pay that forward just a little bit, things that Ive learned along the way. If I can share that with a really talented guy thats willing to work and listen, that could be a really fun thing. And at the same time hopefully be on a really good team.
But first, the Seahawks would have to draft a quarterback, which theyre probably going to do. Then, the current lockout will have to be resolved, one way or another, so that teams can actually sign or re-sign free agents. Then, the Seahawks and their longtime franchise cornerstone will have to come to terms.
Despite the delays, Hasselbeck remains optimistic.
I think its sincere that they want me back, its just a matter of how badly, he told Bedard. I know that I would like to be there, I think I can help them keep going on what were building there, its just a matter if it fits into the new agreement and how they want to do things and whatever else they look at I loved playing for Pete [Carroll]. I really like the group of coaches he brought with him and the staff that he assembled.
In 10 years with the Seahawks, Hasselbeck has completed 2,559 passes in 4,250 attempts for 29,434 yards, 174 touchdowns, and 128 interceptions.