The Seattle Seahawks Are Hunting Quarterbacks

Chris CluffCorrespondent IIMarch 11, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 27:  Kevin Kolb #4 of the Philadelphia Eagles throws a pass against the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lincoln Financial Field on August 27, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

A day after trading Seneca Wallace for a bag of stale peanuts, the Seahawks all of a sudden have become known as big players in the quarterback shell game—linked to Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb, Derek Anderson, and Charlie Whitehurst.

First of all, the Seahawks’ new staff—coach Pete Carroll, general manager John Schneider, and offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates—obviously thought little of Wallace.

They reportedly received only a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2011 draft for a guy Cleveland’s Mike Holmgren surely would have given more for. Like maybe one of his four fifth-round picks in next month’s draft?

And you thought giving up Julian Peterson for Cory Redding and a fifth-rounder last year was a bad deal.

Where’s Randy Mueller when you need him? The guy who got a first-round pick from Chicago for flameout QB Rick Mirer in 1997?

It’s true that the Hawks didn’t have much need for Wallace, but Holmgren did. And he fleeced his former subordinate, Schneider, in this deal.

With Wallace gone and the Hawks left holding that bag of stale nuts, the Hawks are in need of a new backup passer, and they reportedly are jockeying with division rival Arizona for a couple of the same guys.

The Hawks are planning to talk to the guy Wallace replaced in Cleveland, Derek Anderson, today. Then, Anderson will swap visits with San Diego QB Charlie Whitehurst, who is checking in with the Cardinals first.

Anderson is pure backup material, but Whitehurst—the Chargers’ No. 3 passer—might have some long-term potential.

Meanwhile, of greater interest is the fact that the Seahawks reportedly have called the Philadelphia Eagles. One report says they called about both McNabb and Kolb. Another report says the Hawks are interested only in Kolb.

The latter makes more sense. Why would the Hawks get rid of their 34-year-old starter for a 33-year-old guy who is basically the same caliber of player?

Yes, McNabb is more athletic and has a stronger arm. But Matt Hasselbeck is more accurate and a better field general.

Both have had injury issues recently, with Hasselbeck missing 15 games over the last four years and McNabb missing 10. But both have led their teams to the Super Bowl and still have plenty of football left in them.

Unless the Seahawks could come out ahead (i.e., get an extra draft pick or two) by swapping out Hasselbeck for McNabb, it wouldn’t make any sense.

The better option for Seattle would be to acquire Kolb, a 25-year-old who seems poised to become the next Matt Schaub—going from one of the NFL’s best backups to a solid starter. Kolb showed flashes of his ability in two starts last season, when he threw for 718 yards and four scores.

The Eagles probably prefer to keep Kolb, whom they took with the 36th overall pick in the 2007 draft and seemingly have been grooming to replace McNabb. This would seem to be the year.

If the Hawks could get him for the 14th overall pick, they could then send Hasselbeck to Cleveland, where Holmgren would surely love to have him.

The Hawks could probably get a third and fifth for Hasselbeck. (Eye-rolling sarcasm: Or maybe just a 2011 seventh-rounder.)

Of course, it’s more likely the Hawks will stick with Hasselbeck in 2010 and find a backup.

Anderson went to the Pro Bowl in 2007, but he was the recipient of some great seasons by Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow and some poor defense by opposing teams. The Browns have had horrible offensive coaches for years, so it’s possible Anderson can be coached to be a better player than he showed the past two years.

Whitehurst is the more intriguing player. He has been stuck behind Philip Rivers and Billy Volek ever since the Chargers drafted him in the third round in 2006, but he certainly has soaked up the wisdom of coach Norv Turner while watching Rivers turn into a Pro Bowl passer.

A restricted free agent, he would require a third-round pick if signed to an offer sheet. The Hawks don’t currently have a third-round pick (surrendered for Deon Butler in the 2009 draft), which means they would have to arrange a trade. (Eye-rolling sarcasm: How about a 2011 seventh-rounder?)

Whitehurst could take the path Hasselbeck traveled, sitting for his first few seasons and then taking over after being traded to another team. In Seattle, Whitehurst could watch Hasselbeck in 2010 and possibly take over in 2011 (if there is no lockout).

Whatever happens, it’s pretty obvious the Seahawks are going to leave no stone unturned in their search for quarterbacks—both backups and possible replacements for Hasselbeck.