Matt Hasselbeck: Is Thursday Night Football Titans QB's Last Hurrah?

Chris TrapassoAnalyst IOctober 11, 2012

Oct 7, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (8) throws during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE
Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Matt Hasselbeck will start for the Tennessee Titans tonight in place of the injured Jake Locker, in what very well may be the last time you'll see the accomplished veteran on a football field. 

Yeah, there's a distinct possibility of that being the case. 

As a 36-year-old in 2011, Hasselbeck clearly demonstrated he still can be a viable quarterback in the NFL. But there are many reasons to believe tonight's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers will be his last hurrah. 

Now at 37, Hasselbeck is undeniably in the twilight of his career. 

His was an ideal stop-gap option a season ago, a guy who could manage the offense while Jake Locker learned it. But his age clearly indicates that he's nearing the end of his playing days, much less his viability as a starter. 

As Locker's replacement in Week 5, Hasselbeck was far from his typically efficient ways. He finished the day 26-of-43 for an even 200 yards with an interception and a late touchdown as the Titans were spanked 30-7 by the upstart Minnesota Vikings. 

Facing the Pittsburgh Steelers will likely be a more difficult task for Hasselbeck, although the home crowd could help a little. 

According to, head coach Mike Munchak has targeted Week 7's contest with the Buffalo Bills as the game Locker could return from his shoulder injury. As long as he stays healthy, Tennessee will look to ride him, hoping he becomes a successful franchise quarterback. 

Hasselbeck does have one year left on a three-year deal he signed last season, but will it be beneficial to the Titans organization to keep a 38-year-old second-string quarterback who'll make a base salary of $5.5 million and will count $7.5 million against the cap next season?

I don't think so. 

Sure, the team probably likes the reliability Hasselbeck brings to the field, but a younger, cheaper backup will likely be acquired. You know, someone who possesses at least a sprinkle of upside. 

That's not to slight Hasselbeck, a typically overlooked signal-caller, who enjoyed an illustrious career in Seattle with the Seahawks and now with the Titans. 

But for you Hasselbeck fans out there, make sure you watch tonight. This could very well be the last time you see him taking snaps during a regular season game in the NFL.