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Trying to Figure Out the Future of Hasselbeck

ESPN NFC West blogger Mike Sando has an interesting piece today on Hawks QB Matt Hasselbeck, and his future with the team. He shoots off a couple good reasons behind believing that Hasselbeck will and won’t be back in 2011. Here they are.

The lockout works both ways. The longer the lockout runs, the more convenient Hasselbeck becomes for the Seahawks in 2011. He’s familiar with the passing game Bevell is bringing to Seattle. I also think the lockout could affect Hasselbeck’s return negatively. Long-term strategic thinking can harden during extended periods without coach-player interaction. The Seahawks’ long-range plans do not include Hasselbeck. Everyone understands that. Perhaps making the break now becomes easier if the lockout keeps the relationship on hold for too long. Schneider hasn’t hidden his desire to make the Seahawks younger.

Whitehurst is a factor. The Seahawks have taken considerable criticism for their move to acquire quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. Initial reports suggested the San Diego Chargers took advantage of the Seahawks during negotiations. Subsequent reports have focused on the price Seattle paid for a quarterback who remains a non-factor. When Seattle failed to draft a quarterback over the weekend, Carroll pointed to the 2011 third-round choice that was part of the Whitehurst deal as evidence the team had addressed the position. Carroll also praised Whitehurst to a degree he had not done when Hasselbeck was entrenched as the starter. These are the sorts of things teams say when laying the groundwork for change. If Hasselbeck did eventually leave, at least Carroll’s praise for Whitehurst would already be part of the public record.

Drama complicates matters. Dilfer’s comments created only the latest buzz. Earlier this offseason, ESPN analyst Tim Hasselbeck stood up for his brother and made pointed comments during a Seattle radio interview. Tim Hasselbeck took shots at Marc Bulger and Carson Palmer, dismissing both as viable alternatives to Matt Hasselbeck. Strong comments from people with ties to Hasselbeck can leave the impression Hasselbeck is at least tacitly signing off on them, even if he is not. The effect can be corrosive with a lockout preventing direct communication. Could it affect whether the Seahawks come back with an offer as strong as they one they made previously?

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