I am sure that for most fans the news of the Seahawks decision to move on with the new league year without veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck is still fresh on their minds. Following the official announcement Twitter and Facebook were flooded with messages from fans and players alike expressing nothing but gratitude and appreciation for his 10 years of service with the Hawks. The Seahawks even took out a full page ad in the Seattle Times honoring the only QB in franchise history to lead the team to a Super Bowl.
I too was one of those fans who was left dumbfounded by the reports that the team, despite claiming that re-signing the coveted free agent was priority one, had told Hasselbeck that his services were no longer needed and they were moving forward in a different direction. I couldn’t comprehend what would make the notion of a QB battle between the underachieving Charlie Whitehurst and Minnesota Vikings castaway Tavaris Jackson more appealing then re-signing the man whose unbelievable playoff performance against the defending Super Bowl champs shocked the football world.
I am not at all shy in admitting that I am not a big supporter of the decision to move on from the Hasselbeck era quite yet. During the continued overhaul of the roster and building off last year’s improbable playoff win, Hasselbeck’s veteran leadership would have added a huge boost to this very young Seahawks squad.
With all the intangibles Hasselbeck does bring to the table, I believe the most often overlooked fact in this scenario is that Matt was offered a new deal by the Hawks which he firmly turned down.
Now I understand the deal Schneider and company offered Hasselbeck was less than desirable given his desire for a longer term deal, but the one year $7 million offer was not too shabby either. However, Hasselbeck made it clear he was looking for a longer deal and after negotiations ended in a stalemate he decided it was in his best interest to test his value on the open market. The decision paid off in the end with a reported 3 year $21 million deal from Tennessee.
We will never know exactly what was said in the negotiations so the “he said, she said” is all up to speculation. We as fans would all like to point the finger at the guys in the suits and blame the front office for their lack of urgency in attempting to strike a deal. However, we can’t ignore the fact that they did make him an offer, albeit a less than desirable one, but that Hasselbeck ultimately sealed his fate and made the decision to tell the team “thanks, but no thanks”.
I have to trust the fact that Coach Carroll and General Manager John Schneider do have the team’s best interest in mind. Do I personally think it was a good decision? No, but only time will tell and I will reserve my judgment for now.
I believe we will someday see Matthew Hasselbeck again, hoisting our beloved flag proudly as he is inducted into the famed Ring-of-Honor, but for now, Mr. Seattle will take his talents to the music city and we wish him nothing but the best.