John Schneider just met with reporters to discuss the latest round of signings by the Seattle Seahawks. But the team’s general manager began the session by discussing the decision to part ways with Matt Hasselbeck, and also expressed his respect for the veteran quarterback who signed with the Tennessee Titans in free agency.
“The amount of respect that we have for Matt is enormous,” Schneider said. “Everything he’s done for this team, this community; charities; being the family man he is; the strong Christian; phenomenal person.
“It was a really big decision; very hard decision. These decisions affect people’s lives, and we do not take them lightly.”
The decision hit home for Schneider and his family, especially his youngest son Jack.
“My little guy was crying the other day because he’s got a Matt Hasselbeck jersey,” Schneider said. “He punched me and run in the room.
“So I get it, OK. I get it.”
But Schneider said the longer the 136-day lockout went, the more it became apparent that the team would move in another direction – in this case to former Minnesota Vikings QB Tarvaris Jackson.
“We’re very excited about moving forward, don’t get me wrong,” Schneider said. “But I just wanted to talk about the respect that we have for the man, the football player, everything he did here in Seattle.
“We had a plan. We stuck with our plan. … We made a strong run at Matt. We made a business decision. Matt made a business decision. And we are where we are now. We’re excited about the future. I just wanted to pay our respects on behalf of the club to Matt and everything he represents as a man and everything he did in this community.”
Schneider actually helped bring Hasselbeck to this community. In 2001, when the Seahawks acquired Hasselbeck in a trade with the Green Bay Packers, Schneider had just joined the Washington Redskins as vice president of player personnel. But in 2000, he was the Seahawks’ director of player personnel and before that he worked for the Packers.
“In the most humble manner that I can say it, I was quite honestly one of four guys that helped get Matt Hasselbeck here to Seattle,” he said. “So I’m proud of that. I’m proud of the decision we made. It was really cool to watch his career here.
“This isn’t one of those just changing-of-the-guard things. I’m connected to Matt Hasselbeck, as well.”