Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
His final frustrations in a Seahawks uniform?
The Seahawks will likely face the decision of selecting a quarterback in the first two rounds, but as many as five first- or second-tier prospects have been tagged as it for Seattle.
Part of the reason for the variety in choices is no one really knows the changes coming under offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and offensive line/assistant head coach Tom Cable.
Hence the question: Is it possible we may see Matt, Charlie and a 2011 first-round quarterback in Seattle next season? That seems unlikely, especially given the holes throughout the roster and salary potentially allocated to the quarterback position. It would be a bold, expensive statement. It could work.
Seattle could also invest early in the defense or offensive line, give Hasselbeck a talented prospect he can relate too, outside the first round. Replace that first rounder with maybe even the second, likely a fourth- to seventh-round pick, and Hasselbeck is staring at himself in the mirror--a sixth rounder coming out of Boston College.
As a player doubted coming into the league and currently facing similar concerns, for all we know Hasselbeck hopes he can replace the lack of a championship ring—or still get one—with the personal satisfaction of grooming the heir to his throne.
There is no way of knowing if Hasselbeck is trying to communicate with the Seahawks' front office less than two weeks before the draft, but either way Seattle could be listening.
I’ll maintain that it would be a gaffe for the Seahawks to fail in re-signing Hasselbeck; the expectations placed on the situation before the offseason set up the Seahawks for a possible PR disaster.
It’s hard to twist success from failing to achieve the No. 1 offseason priority, especially when that priority was made clear to the public from the onset.
I am not saying, however, he should be the sure starter in 2011; a combination of reduced base salary, incentives and player/team options I believe is the best strategy for creating an acceptable contract for both sides. However, a variation of that strategy may have driven Hasselbeck into free agency.
I think Seattle must be cognizant of what Hasselbeck brings to the team past this next contract. The experience of 10 playoff games, six playoff appearances and a Super Bowl appearance is tough to replace, especially when that player is eager to share beyond his playing career; let’s not forget Pete Carroll and his “uncommon vision” for his Seattle program.
A nugget of the past: Carroll told current Seahawks secondary coach Kris Richard to “look him up” when Richard was done playing at USC in 2002, hoping to land Richard as a coach when his playing career finished. Six years later, Richard was a graduate assistant under Carroll. Don’t put it past Carroll to do it again with Hasselbeck, if he hasn’t already.
As of draft day, Seattle has gained nearly two months to evaluate the negotiations with Hasselbeck and its current quarterback situation. Has it come up with a contingency play that turns the possible gaffe into a springboard?
Without reading too much between the lines, I believe Hasselbeck has weighed his pros and cons and ultimately decided he wants to stay in Seattle, even if that means competing with and mentoring a young quarterback.
Will Pete and John Schneider return the favor? In less than two weeks, we’re going to get an indication as to which side of the pros and cons list is longer for the Seahawks. At the 2011 NFL draft, they have their first and only offseason chance to respond to Hasselbeck, loud and clear: check, or checkmate.