After failing to restructure his contract, the Tennessee Titans have reportedly decided to part ways with veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
The Tennessean's Jim Wyatt tweeted the news:
Jim Wyatt @jwyattsports
BREAKING: The #Titans have informed veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck he’s being released, according to sources.2013-3-18 20:34:37
In an article by Wyatt for The Tennessean, he reports that the Titans and Hasselbeck's agent were working on getting Hasselbeck's contract restructured. Obviously, they couldn't come to an agreement on a revised deal.
The 37-year-old Hasselbeck was entering the final year of a three-year deal. According to Wyatt, he was set to receive a $5.5 million base salary in 2013—with bonuses, his deal would have counted $7.5 million against the 2013 salary cap.
While the move saves a nice chunk for the Titans, it certainly is not without risk. Returning starter Jake Locker has had a hard time staying healthy. Last year, he dislocated his shoulder twice, and he is currently rehabbing from shoulder surgery.
As a result, Hasselbeck played in eight games for the Titans last year. The Titans went 3-5 in those games, while Hasselbeck compiled an 81.0 quarterback rating.
This move leaves Locker and Rusty Smith to handle the quarterback position for the Titans. However, they will almost certainly be adding a more proven veteran to handle the backup duties.
That move could come quickly.
Wyatt reported that the Titans have already met with recently released Buffalo Bills starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick is younger than Hasselbeck and has plenty of experience, so he could be an interesting option if the Titans choose to go that route.
Hasselbeck, though, is clearly nearing the end of the line. He has one of the worst arms in the league and his mobility disappears by the day. However, he still shows flashes of accuracy and is a smart quarterback and poised leader.
He shouldn't have too much trouble finding another backup job for this season.