The Seattle Seahawks didn’t select a quarterback in the 2011 NFL Draft, choosing instead to focus on their other areas of need. But with only backup Charlie Whitehurst currently on the roster, and veteran starter Matt Hasselbeck heading into free agency, what will Seattle do once the lockout ends?
The Seahawks and Hasselbeck have expressed mutual interest in continuing their relationship next season, but even if he comes back, that doesn’t solve the future for Seattle. On top of that, there’s no guarantee a team like Tennessee or Washington won’t snap up Hasselbeck. Unless the Seahawks are sold on Whitehurst as their quarterback of the future, they obviously would have to make some sort of move.
The Arizona Cardinals look like the front-runners to land Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback Kevin Kolb, so we’ll consider him off the board. If Hasselbeck leaves, the likely options available include free agents Marc Bulger, Matt Leinart and Donovan McNabb, while Carson Palmer and Vince Young could also be had.
We wouldn’t be surprised to see the Seahawks make a push to trade for Palmer. Failing that, we think the Seahawks will hand the keys of the offense over to Whitehurst. If he completely fails, the Seahawks would likely garner a top pick in the 2012 draft which looks to be loaded with quality passers. Guys like Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley and Landry Jones are all likely be available.
So unlike other experts, we don’t see a major change coming in Seattle. We think Palmer is an option if Hasselbeck isn’t retained, but if he can’t be acquired cheaply, Whitehurst and his beard will likely get a shot under center.