Free Agent QB Matt Hasselbeck Keeps Options Open

Seattle free agent quarterback Matt Hasselbeck would like to be back with the Seahawks, but is prepared for any scenario.

“Nothing’s really changed for me since the end of the season,” Hasselbeck said during a Wednesday appearance on “Green & Gold Today” on ESPN Milwaukee. “I’m definitely hopeful to be back here. But at the same time I understand with a new GM, and with a new regime they sometimes want to go in a different direction, and that could happen, too.

“I’m prepared for whatever. Right now I’m just trying to get strong, really improve in some areas on the football field and make a big leap this year physically, and be ready to play at a high level, and hopefully play the best football of my career.”

Hasselbeck has started 131 games for the Seahawks over the last ten years, but hasn’t played a full 16-game season since 2007 and turns 36 in September. The Seahawks and Hasselbeck’s agent, David Dunn, were unable to reach an agreement on a contract prior to the lockout, which has led to speculation that another team in need of a veteran quarterback–Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans–would lure Hasselbeck to start in 2011 and mentor their first-round quarterback.

That said, the Seahawks passed on drafting a quarterback, and reached out to Hasselbeck during the brief period the lockout was lifted and contact between teams and players was permitted. Hasselbeck is a perfect fit for new Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s West Coast offense, and a copy of Bevell’s playbook has found its way to Hasselbeck’s possession.

Also fueling speculation that Hasselbeck will be back was his active role in organizing workouts among Seahawks players in recent weeks.

Anything can certainly happen with Hasselbeck, but I’m expecting the Seahawks to sweeten their pre-lockout offer to give the veteran some security beyond 2011.

The team’s long-term solution at the position may not arrive until the 2012 draft, and may not be ready start until 2013. Keeping Hasselbeck around for at least two seasons might be the most prudent move the club can make.

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