#8 – Matt Hasselbeck
Signed through: 2010
2010 salary: $5.75M
2010 cap number (approx., if applicable): $6.75M
Hasselbeck overcame a back injury in 2008 to complete 60% of his passes for 3,029 yards, 17 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, finishing with a passer rating of 75.1, the third-lowest of his 11-year career. Hasselbeck missed a pair of games early in the season with broken ribs, and missed some practice time late in the season with a right shoulder injury.
#15 – Seneca Wallace
Signed through: 2010
2010 salary: $1.5M
2010 cap number (approx., if applicable): $1.9M
Wallace was called upon to start two games in 2009, completing 59-of-89 attempts for 518 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception in back-to-back losses against the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts. Knapp devised some “Senecat” plays as a way to get Wallace on the field more, something Holmgren rarely did. The Seahawks ran just over a dozen “Senecat” plays during 2009, with Wallace’s 24-yard reception in the season opener being the most successful one. Wallace finished the season with a 65% completion percentage and 700 yards passing, with 3 touchdowns and a pair of interceptions, for a passer rating of 81.9. He added 2 yards rushing on 16 carries, with one touchdown.
#14 – Mike Teel
Signed through: 2012
2010 salary: $395,000
2010 salary (approx., if applicable): $423,563
Teel did a great job modeling the Seahawks official sideline hats in 2009, spending much of the season as the team’s emergency 3rd quarterback. (Teel was the #2 quarterback in Weeks 3 and 4) While Teel didn’t see any game action in his rookie season, he was seated next to Hasselbeck during sideline conferences with Knapp. Between that and knowing where the quarterbacks meeting room was, 2009 can be considered a successful season for the sixth-round pick from Rutgers.
Hasselbeck became the Seahawks’ all-time leader in passing attempts, completions, and yardage in 2009, but his age and contract status, as well as the arrival of a new general manager and coaching staff, has many questioning Hasselbeck’s long-term future with the franchise.
With Mike Holmgren now running the Cleveland Browns, there has been some speculation that the Browns may seek to acquire Hasselbeck for the short-term, while they draft and groom their quarterback of the future. While that would make some sense from Cleveland’s perspective, it would also make just as much sense for the Seahawks to sign Hasselbeck to a short-term contract extension to buy the front office some time to draft and develop its own quarterback of the future.
Fueling speculation about Hasselbeck's future with the club was his poor play down the stretch.
In the final month of the regular season, Hasselbeck was intercepted 10 times, including twice by someone named Elbert Mack. Surely some of that can be attributed to the Seahawks being forced to throw, since they were frequently trailing by two touchdowns before the last player even exited the team bus. And it's also true that the offensive line didn't do a good enough job of protecting Hasselbeck, that Seattle's offense lacked play-makers (especially at wide receiver), and that Knapp's play-calling left much (a lot) to be desired.
Whatever the reason for Hasselbeck's struggles late in 2009--I suspect that it was a combination of all those issues listed above plus Hasselbeck playing at less than 100%--the clock is certainly ticking loudly, at a level that cannot be ignored.
So, regardless of what happens with Hasselbeck, it would not be a surprise if one of Seattle's two first-round picks in this year’s draft is a quarterback. The NFL is a quarterback-driven league, a fact not lost on head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider, and getting that quarterback of the future in the building could be a top priority for the new regime.
In addition to writing for NorthwestFootball.net, Brian McIntyre blogs daily at Mac's Football Blog. You can follow Brian on Twitter, and if you’d like to e-mail him, you can always do so by clicking here.