Signing a veteran free agent to help bridge the gap between Carson Palmer and Andy Dalton is something that the Cincinnati Bengals are considering. The idea is simple. Should a rookie start the first regular season game during his rookie season? Should the Bengals sign a veteran free agent to hold off Dalton's debut, who would also become a resource of experience for Dalton to tap into? Quarterbacks that could be available through free agency includes names like Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman, Matt Leinart, Alex Smith, Marc Bulger and Chad Pennington. McNabb is favored for Minnesota once the Washington Redskins release him and San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh wants to bring Smith back.
Another name being offered up is Seattle Seahawks' Matt Hasselbeck, who hasn't sported a winning record as a starting quarterback since 2007. In his last three seasons, Hasselbeck has only thrown 34 touchdowns, posted 44 interceptions, compiled a 71.2 passer rating, completed 58.5% of his passes, averaged 6.4 yards/pass and fumbled the football 19 times. And even though the Seahawks made the playoffs last year with Hasselbeck as the starting quarterback, they did it becoming the first team to make the playoffs with a non-winning record; something that would never happen in the AFC North. And it wasn't Hasselbeck that led the Seahawks to the division-clinching win over the St. Louis Rams during week 17 of the 2010 regular season.
According to Pro Football Weekly, the Seahawks want Hasselbeck back and, save for an impasse during contract talks before the lockout, Hasselbeck would like to return.
"At one point, I think he was disappointed [about the state of contract talks]," one team source told PFW. "But during this limbo, I think he realizes more and more how really hard it would be to move. Quality of life is very important to Matt and his family."
PFW does mention that option to "cut the cord with Hasselbeck and sink or swim with backup Charlie Whitehurt" is still an option on the table.
Whatever happens in Seattle, we're not sure how much sense it makes for Hasselbeck to sign with the Bengals. First of all, a guy like Hasselbeck will sign with a team that gives him a final chance at a winner -- even if that means being a backup. With so many changes happening at Paul Brown Stadium, the Bengals do not figure as serious players in the playoffs next season. Sorry. It's just a realistic expectation. What are the odds that Hasselbeck would sign with Cincinnati just to baby sit the position while Andy Dalton develops? Those odds of that depends on how much money the team wants to dish out. And Mike Brown... yea.