At a time when it seems to be a foregone conclusion that quarterback Matt Hasselbeck won’t be back in Seattle if/when the 2011 season is played, there’s still some reason to believe that Hasselbeck could return.
According to Mike Sando of ESPN.com, Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell called Hasselbeck during last week’s temporary lifting of the lockout, reiterating the franchise’s interest in the veteran quarterback who was traded from Green Bay to Seattle a full decade ago.
Hasselbeck will be an unrestricted free agent once the lockout ends. And the Seahawks have only Charlie Whitehurst — who played well in the must-win Week 17 game against the Rams — as a viable candidate to replace Hasselbeck.
Still, new coaches like to have their own quarterbacks, and Pete Carroll has had a full year to study Hasselbeck. If Carroll decided at some point in 2010 that the team needed to keep Hasselbeck, the team could have re-signed him.
And while several teams with needs at the position drafted new quarterbacks, several didn’t. Hasselbeck remains in play for, possibly, Buffalo, Miami, Washington, and Arizona. He also could be the short-term starter for teams that picked up rookies, including the Bengals, Titans, Vikings, and 49ers.
We (or at least I) still think the Eagles could be a viable option, if Hasselbeck is willing to enter the building as the backup to a guy who could get injured at some point. It would reunite Hasselbeck with Andy Reid, and it would allow Hasselbeck to run an offense with which he is intimately familiar.
Regardless of where he goes, there’s no reason to dispute at this point the proclamation of ESPN’s Trent Dilfer — who as Sando points out shares an agent with Hasselbeck — that the veteran who has copied Dilfer’s hairdo will be playing elsewhere in 2011.