July 26, 2011 in Sports

Seahawks part with Hasselbeck, greet Jackson

Associated Press
 

Tarvaris Jackson is in as the Seattle Seahawks’ next quarterback and Matt Hasselbeck is reportedly looking elsewhere.

A person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press Tuesday that Jackson agreed to terms with the Seahawks and is expected to sign a contract Friday. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because free agents aren’t allowed to sign contracts until Friday.

The Seattle Times first reported Jackson’s agreement.

Reports surfaced Tuesday afternoon that the Seahawks told Hasselbeck he was no longer in their future plans. Yahoo! Sports first reported the Hasselbeck decision on Twitter. Hasselbeck and his agent did not return messages left by the AP.

The decision to move on from Hasselbeck contradicted Seattle coach Pete Carroll’s pronouncement in January that re-signing Hasselbeck was Seattle’s No. 1 priority. The sides could not reach an agreement before the NFL lockout.

Hasselbeck spent the past 10 seasons in Seattle and for much of that time was the face of the franchise. He took the Seahawks to their only Super Bowl appearance and captained Seattle to five division titles. He leaves as the team’s all-time leader in numerous passing categories.

But the signs that Hasselbeck’s time in Seattle could be coming to a close started a year ago when the team acquired Charlie Whitehurst from San Diego. Whitehurst was supposed to challenge Hasselbeck for the job before the 2010 season, but his only two starts last season came in games Hasselbeck was injured.

One of those starts was the season finale when Seattle beat St. Louis 16-6 to wrap up the NFC West title with a 7-9 record.

Hasselbeck then seemed to affirm his importance to the franchise by leading Seattle to an NFC first-round playoff upset of New Orleans before the Seahawks lost to Chicago in the NFC divisional playoff. After that loss, Carroll said the Seahawks’ No. 1 priority was re-signing Hasselbeck.

But it won’t be Hasselbeck back under center when the season begins on Sept. 11 on the road against the San Francisco 49ers.

Whitehurst was one of the first Seahawks to arrive at their training facility on Tuesday morning after catching a late flight back to the Northwest and not getting to his apartment until about 1 a.m. Still, he was driving through the gates of Seahawks headquarters shortly after 8 a.m. ready to pick up his playbook.

“You’re more experienced; it goes for all of us. There were a bunch of new guys this past season,” Whitehurst said. “I think everybody is probably feeling pretty confident about this season.”

Instead of Whitehurst battling Hasselbeck for the starting job, it’ll be Jackson.

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