Sports

Matt Hasselbeck Deserves a Chance

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What scouts thought they knew about this year's class of quarterbacks has been confirmed at the combine. There are future signal caller projects, and a chance that a good player or two may develop, but no sure fire top pick like Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III. Free agency offers few impact options for teams that think they can compete now. While we’ve heard the names Matt Flynn, and Alex Smith a lot in trade talks, the most available and best option to win immediately is Titans backup Matt Hasselbeck.

Early next season Hasselbeck will turn 38 years old. He is not sexy, and will not excite a fan base. Joe Flacco didn't get anybodies juices flowing until this year’s playoffs. Hasselbeck is a proven winner, it won't cost a fortune to get him, he is affordable, and capable of taking the right team to the next level.

Players like Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, Mike Glennon, Tyler Wilson, Ryan Nassib and EJ Manuel may develop into useful NFL players. When you draft a quarterback fans look into the future and see an image of that guy leading the franchise to glory. More often than not the player is Matt Leinart not Peyton Manning.

If Matt Moore, Drew Stanton, and Jason Campbell are unappealing, free agency is not going to provide a quarterback that provides anything more than a quality backup or stopgap option. While Chase Daniel provides some intrigue, if you are the Cardinals, Bucs, Jets, or Bills, Hasselbeck deserves a long look.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Hasselbeck has started 11 postseason games. He led the Seahawks to five straight playoff appearances including the 2005 Super Bowl. Since leaving Seattle after the 2010 season Hasselbeck been effective though not spectacular in Tennessee.

In 2011 Hasselbeck threw for 3,571 yards and 18 touchdowns while completing 62-percent of his passes. He helped the Titans to nine wins including victories over Baltimore, Denver, and Houston. He finished the season ranked among the top half of the league in yards, TD passes, and QB Rating.

Last year he gave way to youngster Jake Locker. The Titans recognized that they did not have the roster to win the Super Bowl, and it made sense to find out if Locker is good enough to lead Tennessee to the playoffs at some point in the future. Hasselbeck played a significant role in six games and posted comparable numbers to his per game averages in 2011. He threw for seven scores and completed 62-percent of his attempts.

Matt Hasselbeck is not going to play like Tom Brady. However, for a mid or late round draft pick, and a bargain salary of $5.5 million, his chance of success paired with a wide receiver like Larry Fitzgerald, or a backfield that includes Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller is a lot better than nearly all other reasonable options available.