Seahawks part ways with Matt Hasselbeck, agree to deal with Tarvaris Jackson

Jul 26, 2011, 12:03 PM | Updated: Jul 27, 2011, 2:56 am
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Matt Hasselbeck is on his way out of Seattle, and by all indications free agent quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is on his way in.

Tim Hasselbeck, Matt’s brother and an NFL analyst for ESPN, joined Bob & Groz Tuesday and confirmed an earlier report from Danny O’Neil of The Seattle Times that the Seahawks were going in a different direction at quarterback.

Tim Hasselbeck said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider called Matt to thank him for his time in Seattle and inform him they were moving on. Tim called that a “classy move” and one that his brother “was really appreciative” of.

Matt Hasselbeck, 35, leaves the Seahawks after 10 seasons in Seattle. He is franchise’s career leader in passing attempts, completions and yards, and owns the distinction of leading Seattle to its first and only Super Bowl appearance.

“Without a doubt, obviously a lot of disappointment in [Matt’s] voice when I was talking to him,” Tim Hasselbeck said. “Because as he had said before and I have said to you guys, he wanted to remain a Seahawk and finish his career [in Seattle], and it’s not going to happen.”

With Seattle out of the mix, Tim Hasselbeck named Tennessee, Arizona, San Francisco and Miami as potential destinations for Matt. The Titans have said publicly they’d like to sign a veteran quarterback to help mentor rookie Jake Locker. The 49ers and Cardinals are considered perhaps only a quarterback away from contention.

Tim Hasselbeck said the Seahawks have reached a deal with Jackson, a move that was reported earlier by O’Neil and has since been widely reported. The deal, which is expected to be signed Friday, reunites the 28-year-old quarterback with new Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who coached Jackson in Minnesota.

Jackson, a second-round pick in 2006, has thrown 24 touchdowns to 22 interceptions in his five years in the NFL. He has started 20 games, 19 of which came in his first three seasons; he served mainly as Brett Favre’s backup the past two seasons.

ESPN’s John Clayton told the Kevin Calabro Show last week that the Seahawks had serious interest in Jackson. ESPN analyst Trent Difler was the first to publicly link Jackson to the Seahawks, telling Brock & Salk in May that Bevell “always had an affinity” the quarterback.

ESPN reported Tuesday afternoon that the Seahawks had also reached an agreement with quarterback Matt Leinart, later retracting the report and saying only that Seattle has interest in Leinart. That would reunite the former first-round pick with his coach at USC, Pete Carroll. Seattle’s quarterbacks coach, Carl Smith, worked with Leinart at USC in 2004, the year he won the Heisman Trophy.

The team has not announced any of those moves, only the signings of 18 undrafted rookie free agents. The NFL’s lockout ended Monday, allowing free agents to begin negotiating with teams Tuesday morning. Deals can’t be signed until Friday.

Charlie Whitehurst is the only quarterback the Seahawks currently have under contract for next season.

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