Could Seattle Seahawks End Up with Jake Locker?

Chris CluffCorrespondent IIMarch 14, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 18:  Jake Locker #10 of the Tennessee Titans throws a pass during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks at one point seemed like they would be the odd team out in the Great Quarterback Hunt of 2012, but all of a sudden it is starting to look like they might have several options for upgrading the position—both in the short term and in the long term.

There were plenty of questions about whether they would be interested in Green Bay backup Matt Flynn, and those have been answered to some degree by the report that he will indeed visit Seattle, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. He's reportedly set to come in after former Miami starter Chad Henne visits, which NFL Network's Jeff Darlington noted.

On top of that, the report that Tennessee has quickly become one of the final two entrants in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes (as reported by Fox Sports, among others) means the Titans could end up getting rid of one of the quarterbacks with ties to the state of Washington: either longtime Seahawk Matt Hasselbeck or Husky "legend" Jake Locker.

And just like that, the quarterback market might have opened up for the Seahawks.

Now apparently out of the Manning chase, Miami figures to be the favorite for Flynn, who would join his old Green Bay coordinator, Joe Philbin, now the coach of the Dolphins. Cleveland reportedly is no longer interested, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

Henne is also being pursued by Jacksonville, as reported by the Florida Times-Union, and the question is whether he would prefer to compete with a former first-round pick who struggled as a rookie (Blaine Gabbert) or battle a veteran who is still trying to prove himself (Tarvaris Jackson).

If Manning does sign with Tennessee, the questions will be: 1) Will the Titans cut Hasselbeck? 2) Will they dangle Locker in trade? 3) Would the Seahawks be interested in having Hasselbeck back or in trading for Locker? 4) What would they give up for either?

The Hawks have natural ties to the Titans since former Seattle execs Ruston Webster and Mike Reindfeldt are there. Plus Hasselbeck or Locker would surely jump at the chance to come back to Seattle.

Although Hasselbeck would be the best 2012 starter of all of those options—Jackson, Flynn, Henne, Locker—it is probably a pipe dream to think the Seahawks would bring him back (even though his salary is a very acceptable $5.5 million this year).

If the Titans decide to get something for Locker, would the Hawks be interested in making him their future QB, as so many SeaDawgs wanted last year? And at what price? Tennessee surely would want to recoup the first-round pick it spent on him in 2011, but is he worth Seattle's No. 12 overall pick this year? How about a couple of second-rounders in the next two drafts?

In the end, the Seahawks might end up right back where they started—with Jackson as the starter and a possible draft pick coming in. Flynn could sign with the Dolphins, Henne with the Jags and Manning with the Broncos—leaving Hasselocker in Tennessee.

But until any of that happens, the possibilities are suddenly intriguing.

Um, Other Teams Know Carlson's Talent

Despite missing all of last season, John Carlson was a wanted man. At least half a dozen teams pursued him, and he ended up going home to Minnesota for exactly the kind of money we figured he would get with all of that interest: $25 million over five years, according to The Associated Press.

It's a nice contract for a guy who in his rookie season set the Seahawks' record for catches by a tight end (55). But since Mike Holmgren left, Carlson had not been used very much at all—a major waste of talent. Then Pete Carroll decided to bring in Zach Miller last year—and wasted his talent, too.

Here’s to hoping the Minnesota Vikings use Carlson better than the Seahawks did. And if the Hawks don’t plan to throw the ball to Miller next season, they should just trade him to Kansas City or one of the other teams that didn't get Carlson.