Trades are now formally allowed and seemingly will be disclosed once agreed, despite the inability to complete deals until later in the week. There’s been lots of news so far, so let’s get into it…
All the talk today is that Hasselbeck will not be staying in Seattle. There’s been speculation about a big offer on the way from Tennessee and Michael Lombardi reiterated that suggestion. Steve Young put the 49ers into focus yesterday by suggesting they could be a possible suitor. Danny O’Neil lists the Seahawks among interested parties and it seems clear he at least remains an option for Seattle.
No deal can be completed with anyone but the Seahawks at this stage, so if Hasselbeck is staying in the PNW it could be concluded before free agent deals can be officially announced. I suspect the situation remains fairly fluid – the Seahawks don’t want to commit too much money and years to a soon-to-be 36-year-old quarterback with recent injury history and a not spectacular statistical record. At the same time, they don’t want to cut their nose off to spite their face at the quarterback position. If Hasselbeck gets a remarkable deal elsewhere, he’ll have to weigh up the offer (if it remains) from Seattle and decide what is the best move. That could be staying with the Seahawks.
*Update*- A news service called @incarceratedbob is reporting Hasselbeck and Tennessee have agreed terms in principle (link below). Nobody else has confirmed or denied this yet:
The Bengals held a press conference today fronted by owner Mike Brown who reiterated his stance on not trading Carson Palmer. The general reaction is that the concept of a potential trade is now dead.
It’s a hard sell to argue anything else at this stage. Palmer could still force the Bengals hand by turning up at training camp, absorbing a salary of $12m and making life difficult at a time when the Bengals wish to move on. The statement today may even have been an attempt to call the quarterback’s bluff on retirement.
And let’s be honest, if you’re not faced with a brilliant offer at this stage, why rush if you’re Cincinnati? You have your replacement quarterback. Problems only start if Palmer decides to show up and I understand he’s in Cincinnati today and met with the Bengals owner.
Nevertheless, a deal hasn’t been completed and we’ll have to wait and see if Palmer rides off into the sunset or not.
No trade as of yet between Philadelphia and Arizona. The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that the Seahawks remain a possible trade partner. Jason La Confora believes the Eagles would want a first round pick from Seattle. Either way it appears to be a two-horse race with two NFC West rivals being used to drive up the price. This twitter account namechecking the NFL Network even insists Seattle has over taken Arizona in the Kolb stakes.
Trading the #25 overall pick for Kevin Kolb in the 2011 draft would’ve been understandable. It’s a similar range to where he was originally drafted by the Eagles and it would’ve at least enabled Seattle to invest in the long term future at quarterback. Trading an unknown first round pick in 2012 is a completely different situation and should be avoided at all costs.
For example, if Kolb struggles in year one without the assortment of offensive weapons he enjoyed in Philly, he could end up costing a top ten pick. That would be a hard sell for this front office and could forever define the new regime, particularly if it prevented the Seahawks drafting a top young passer in the draft. That’s a huge gamble.
Of course the other angle is should success come Seattle’s way in 2011 with Kolb under center, then it was a risk worth taking. The stakes are high though.
While the mayhem ensues around free agency, Whitehurst quietly arrived at the team’s facility today and will be the only quarterback available for the team when training camp begins on Wednesday. His position may strengthen simply by being the man on deck. We’ve stressed before that the Seahawks maintain faith in Whitehurst – they traded for the guy. He may get his opportunity after all.
For the sanity of fans accross the NFL and in particular Seattle, let’s hope this drama has a (positive) ending very soon.