Schneider: A great amount of respect for Hasselbeck

Jul 29, 2011, 6:30 PM | Updated: 7:16 pm

Hass snow

By Liz Mathews

At 3:00 PM Friday, the Seahawks officially announced their signings in free agency, but it was the player who got away who received the benefit of the opening remarks.

With much reverence, general manager John Schneider began the press conference in the media room with the following statement: “There’s a great amount of respect that we have for Matt (Hasselbeck) – it’s enormous.”

“Everything he’s done for this team, this community, charities, and being the family man and strong Christian he is, in addition to being a phenomenal person – it was a really big decision, a very hard decision,” Schneider continued. “These decisions affect people’s lives and we do not take them lightly. We’re very excited about moving forward, don’t get me wrong, but I just wanted to start this by just talking about the respect we have for the man, the football player and everything he did here in Seattle.”

Having been involved in bringing Hasselbeck to the Seahawks some ten years ago, Schneider is familiar with both the player and the person that is Matt Hasselbeck.

But the team had a plan.

“And we stuck with our plan,” said Schneider. “I told you guys all the way through what that was.”

Schneider explained that while the Seahawks had made what they felt was a strong effort at re-signing Hasselbeck, in the end, it came down to business.

According to Schneider, the two sides had negotiated significantly prior to the lockout, and with the start of free agency, he said, “we had our answer going in.”

“We are where we are now,” Schneider concluded, “We’re excited about the future. I just wanted to pay our respects on behalf of the club to Matt and everything he represents as a man and everything he did in this community.”

So now it is up to Charlie Whitehurst and Tarvaris Jackson to compete for the starting role, but no one’s job is truly safe.

“We’re going to be sitting – hopefully we’ll be sitting here getting ready for the draft next year doing the same thing,” said Schneider. “And I’ll tell you the exact same thing – we’ll be looking for quarterbacks.”

>>>The Seahawks confirmed the following signings Friday afternoon:

— Unrestricted free agents defensive tackle Alan Branch, guard Robert Gallery, quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and wide receiver Sidney Rice.

— Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, fullback Michael Robinson, and linebackers Leroy Hill and Matt McCoy were re-signed to the team.

— Third-round selection guard John Moffitt was also signed this afternoon, to complete the deals for Seattle’s 2011 draft class.

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