Seahawks Would Like Hasselbeck Back in 2011

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck completed 22-of-35 pass attempts for 272 yards and 4 touchdowns against the New Orleans Saints last Saturday, a huge performance that was necessary to get the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks past the defending Super Bowl champs and into the divisional playoff round.

In the wake of that performance, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll would like have the 35-year old free agent-to-be back in 2011.

"Certainly it’s a big topic for us," Carroll said according to Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune. "Of course, we love what Matt’s done, and we’re going to do everything we can to keep him here. But we don’t know the time-line, or how that’s going to work out, and all that kind of stuff.

"But it’s a big issue for us that we’re looking forward to. He’s had a terrific run for us, and we want to see what we can do to keep that going."

Hasselbeck is earning $5.75 million in the final year of a six-year, $48 million contract signed after the 2004 season.

With Hasselbeck's future uncertain, the Seahawks traded a third-round pick in 2011, and swapped 2010 second-round picks, with the San Diego Chargers to acquire Charlie Whitehurst last March.

A restricted free agent tendered at the "Original Round" level, Whitehurst signed a one-year, $6.824 million contract extension, which included a $2 million roster bonus and $2 million base salary in 2010. Whitehurst is due $4 million in non-guaranteed base salary in 2011. Though a salary cap expected to return as part of the next collective bargaining agreement, Whitehurst could be traded or released with no salary cap implications, making it possible for the Seahawks to both re-sign Hasselbeck to a multi-year extension, draft a quarterback in the first-round (especially now that they have a late first-round pick), and then shop Whitehurst around the league in the off-season or training camp, if another team loses a veteran to injury.

An added benefit of re-signing Hasselbeck, from the Seahawks' point of view, is the current labor situation.

If there is a lockout, and the general feeling around the league is that there will be, teams will not benefit from having OTAs or mini-camps to install offenses. Having an experienced veteran quarterback like Hasselbeck would give the 'Hawks a leg up in an abbreviated 2011 training camp or regular season.

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