After the 2009 season and a horrid 5-11 record, Seattle fans were left skeptical on whether QB Matt Hasselbeck would be able to continue to carry the load. He’ll be 35 in September, and hasn’t been able to stay healthy for the past two seasons – a bulging disk in 2008 and a sore shoulder in 2009.
Then in March, Pete Carroll and the new regime made the shocking move to acquire Charger’s third string quarterback, Charlie Whitehurst, to spark competition at the quarterback position. The move was anything but cheap, as the Seahawks swapped their 40th pick in the 2nd round for the Charger’s 60th pick, and in addition, sent them a third round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Not only was the trade, to acquire Whitehurst, a costly one, but the Seahawks then handed over a whopping two-year 8 million dollar contract (with 2 million in incentives) to a player who has only taken four NFL snaps and has yet to make a pass in a regular-season NFL game.
Carroll on the matter: “We are all about competition,” Carroll said. “Charlie has tremendous talent and upside and we are very excited to watch him develop and help our football team.”
Now, I can see how comments like this could really make you think – “are they bringing Charlie in to take Matt’s job?” I mean, you pay a steep price in acquiring the guy, then you go and pay him 4-5 million a year, and now Pete’s talking about competition?
Well, I am here to assure you that this is not the case.
News coming out of Seahawks’ camp is that Hasselbeck remains the clear-cut starter. According to Clare Farnsworth of the team’s official site, “(Hasselbeck’s) performance this spring has only cemented that status.” Farnsworth went on to note that, “the situation at quarterback has been misrepresented since the club made the trade to acquire (Charlie) Whitehurst.”
All in all, with news of Whitehurst being outplayed by J.P. Losman in camp and with all the praise towards Hasselbeck from the coaches and the media, I wouldn’t doubt for one minute that Hasselbeck will be “the guy” heading into the season. And if Russell Okung can revamp the O-line, if Golden Tate can emerge with a set of reliable hands, and if Justin Forsett and Leon Washington can fuel the running game – then maybe Hasselbeck can turn back the clock – but for now, only time will tell.