Does Hasselbeck Still Have Value For The Seahawks?

I’ve been doing some soul searching concerning Hass and his usefulness to the Seahawks. He definitely has some game left if he’s healthy and could be the right ingredient for a team who has everything else in place. Unfortunately, that’s not the Seahawks. If you figure that he has a couple of good years left, the Seahawks will most likely be in a building process while going through more than one learning curve with yet another set of coaches, schemes, and once again, a brand new playbook. All indications are that Pete Carroll is going to be given the time to build the franchise for the long run and so I don’t think we’re going to be legitimate contenders for a year at best or more likely two as Pete is constructing the team, adjusting players and attitudes, and thoroughly teaching his system while having a couple of drafts and free agency periods to acquire more good players. I look for this team to have a chance to be a real contender in 2012.

This off-season, many knowledgeable fans have been speculating that the Seahawks will need at least a couple of years to get things sorted out and patch some serious holes before they’ll be ready to really compete for a title again. If that’s a true forecast (and I somewhat concur with it), Hasselbeck really doesn’t have much value left for the Seahawks as their starting quarterback. Unless a miracle happens, the team just won’t be able to work it’s way up to being a contender in the short time Hasselbeck has left and that makes him something of a lame duck quarterback. Every snap he takes is one snap less the true quarterback of the future (whoever that turns out to be) gets before needing to be ready to take over the team in a couple of years at best, or, whenever Hass gets injured at worst. That could be in the season opener.

Does it really make sense to play Hass for the next two years and build the team around him knowing his playing days are limited and he’s more fragile than ever? In two years, just when the team will be coming together, becoming competitive, and establishing good chemistry, they’ll have to replace their veteran quarterback with an inexperienced player and go through the process of gelling again with their new quarterback and waiting for him to gain enough experience to be effective. To continue reading press “Read more…..”.

Of course, there’s more than one way Hasselbeck might become useful to the Seahawks and probably as many reasons to trade him. Hasselbeck certainly could be a great mentor for a young quarterback over the next two years perhaps even starting the season in 2010 with the idea that when the new gun is ready, Hass moves to the backup role and continues to mentor the Seahawks new quarterback. That would be a good scenario if we draft a quarterback this year who we’re serious about developing.

That may not be how Hass wants to go out.

Like Farve, Hass may rather move around and be the starter for as long as he can before age or injury catch up to him. Matt would be a good choice for a team who has all their pieces in place but lacks that quarterback to bring it all together. He might be a good choice for Mike Holmgren in Cleveland where he could become the starter right away in Holmgren’s system. He might bring in a good draft choice which would give us that extra pick we need to draft a quarterback and still patch some holes. Hass will be a tough call this off-season.

I don’t advocate giving Hasselbeck away for nothing but he’s definitely nearing the end of his usefulness to the Seahawks as a major player. Given that we might be trying to find our quarterback of the future in the draft this year, Hass would be valuable to us first as the starter so we don’t have to start a rookie quarterback and throw him to the wolves until he’s ready. After that, he could tutor the rookie and be the backup quarterback. I wouldn’t advocate trading Hass for less than a second round pick given that set of circumstances because of his value to us in grooming our new quarterback and being able to start until the rookie is ready. To a rookie quarterback, that kind of support from an experienced quarterback could spell the difference between getting ruined for life and coming out of his first season with a good basic understanding of the NFL game and ready to take the next step as the game slows down for him.

That dynamic could change though if we were to pick up an experienced quarterback in free agency or through a trade. In that case, Hasselbeck’s tutoring wouldn’t be of such great value and trading him for another draft choice might make more sense. If we were to trade for an experienced quarterback like Leinart as an example (not a suggestion), he would become our starter immediately as we start building our new team around our new quarterback. Although Hasselbeck would make a great backup, I would imagine he’d rather go somewhere where he could start for the last two or three years of his career. For what he’s given us, I would be more than happy to see him go someplace and start particularly if it was a program where he might get back to the Super Bowl one more time and get one more shot at it.

How much value Hasselbeck brings to the Seahawks this year is going to depend on what happens in free agency and the draft. If we draft a quarterback, I would expect to see serious consideration given to using Hass for a couple more years as the initial starter and then transitioning him to the backup role as the rookie moves into the starting spot. If we don’t acquire a quarterback this off-season, Hasselbeck will once again be the man and we’ll find ourselves in the same place next year at this time only with increased pressure to resolve the situation. If we acquire an experienced quarterback, I think Hasselbeck could be traded unless there is no interest around the league in which case, he’ll make an excellent backup for us as long as he still wants to play.

Although some fans are advocating that we wait until next year to get our quarterback of the future, the clock is ticking louder and louder and we’re just one big Hasselbeck injury from being in desperation mode with our quarterback situation. I’m sure Pete Carroll knows that Hasselbeck won’t be his quarterback except as an initial stop-gap measure and would prefer to identify his franchise quarterback as soon as possible and not spend unnecessary time developing his offense around a quarterback with only a couple of years left. Better to get the new quarterback in there asap and get the learning process under way. We may not look so good next year but two years down the road, we’ll be much better off with our quarterback entering his third year in Pete’s offense along with the rest of his teammates instead of being in the process of replacing Hass with a still untested quarterback with a learning curve in front of him instead of behind him. While you don’t want to throw a new quarterback to the wolves, you don’t want to make him wait when he’s ready to play either especially if he’s the quarterback of the near future.

I think you have to take a longer view of the process as opposed to trying quick and dirty fixes to try and be competitive next year to the detriment of the long term success of the franchise. Whether Hasselbeck stays with the team or not, I think the focus has to now shift to the next quarterback who’s going to be leading our team. First, we need to identify that prospect, then determine how much support and tutoring he needs to get up to speed, and finally, make the moves that will put that quarterback on the field of play as soon as possible. Within that context lies Hasselbeck’s future with the Seahawks. Hass’s greatest value to the team as we enter the Pete Carroll era might very well be to help us prepare the next Seahawk starting quarterback to be ready to lead this team on the field as ungrateful as that may sound.

It’s doubtful Hass will much like it either so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him look for a trade if he can find a starting job elsewhere given the alternative of being a mentor to the guy who took his job and second string quarterback to the same. I don’t know where Hass’s head is on that one. What happens to Matt will be a story we’ll follow all off-season but right now, it looks like he’ll be leaving with the titles and records he now owns with the Seahawks. It’s a shame he didn’t get his ring here but when he does leave, he leaves as the best quarterback the franchise ever had. Over a 34 year span, that’s still an impressive thing.

What do you Addicts think we should do with Hass given the different scenarios? What if we don’t get another quarterback this off-season? What if we draft one or get someone in free agency or a trade? How does Hass fit in with a rookie verses a quarterback with some experience? What’s the lowest draft pick you would take for Hass? Would you take a lower draft pick if we acquired an experienced quarterback to be our quarterback of the future now? Go for it Addicts! Let’s talk Hasselbeck.

Hasta,

BillT

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