Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Seahawks decide to end the Matt Hasselbeck era
The Seattle Seahawks announced that they will not bring back long time starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. That news has set off a ton of emotions amongst Seahawks fans. For the most part the people in the Seattle Sportsblog group reacted pretty well to the news. For me this is a bittersweet move which I'll explain in more depth later on. The last time Matt Hasselbeck didn't start a game for the Seahawks was in 2000 so for the first time in over a decade there is some mystery at quarterback for this franchise. A franchise who missed the playoffs in the entire 1990's because they didn't have a solid long term solution at quarterback. The fans are fearing that will happen to them again. The same fan base that trusts Jack Zduriencik no matter what won't trust Pete Carroll which I find surprising. The Seahawks are moving forward as a franchise which is always tough and there is never a happy ending. In this following post I'll explain why Carroll made the right decision in letting Hasselbeck go. I'll also talk about the great career Hasselbeck had with the Seahawks.
For me this is a sad move as Hasselbeck was always my favorite player. I used to always wear his jersey at games and wear it every Sunday. Hasselbeck was the face of the franchise for a decade and he was a great person off the field. He was the leader for the franchise, he was the heart and soul of the Seahawks. Hasselbeck was always a great interview regardless if he played well or played terrible he never made excuses either. When you look up "pro" in the dictionairy you'll see Hasselbeck's picture. Hasselbeck with the Seahawks is a three-time Probowler(2003,2005 and 2007) while leading the franchise to the playoffs six times in the last eight years. Before 2003 the Seahawks had made the playoffs just once the previous 14 seasons. With the Seahawks Hasselbeck threw for 29,434 yards while completing 60.2% of his passes with a rating of 82.2 which is pretty good. He also threw for 174 touchdowns to 128 interceptions with a record of 69-62. His best year was in 2005 when he led the team to the Super Bowl. During that season Hasselbeck threw for 3,459 yards while completing 65.5% of his passes with a rating of 98.2 which is pretty incredible. He threw for 24 touchdowns that season to just 9 interceptions. Hasselbeck was also a playoff warrior throwing for 2,741 yards in 11 career games while completing 58.4% of his passes for a rating of 84.4 which shows he stepped his game up. He threw for 18 touchdowns to 9 interceptions in his postseason career. Hasselbeck had a great career and someday he'll be rewarded with a trip to the Seahawks Ring of Honor. Unfortunately for the Seahawks that doesn't help the team going forward.
I haven't seen the city react this way towards a team letting go of an icon since the Seattle Sonics traded away Gary Payton. I was in high school back then and that pissed me off when Payton was dealt. Looking back that was one of the best(few) moves Wally Walker ever made. The Sonics were ripped a new one and Walker traded Payton to the Milwaukee Bucks. Payton would never play in an all-star game again while the guy they traded him for Ray Allen would play in four all-star games with the Sonics while leading them to the division title in 2005. Had the franchise resigned Payton they would have been set back a decade. Fast forward to 2008 new GM Sam Presti traded Ray Allen away and Rashard Lewis. He was also killed but look at the franchise now? They were in the Western Conference Finals. Had Presti resigned Lewis and kept Allen they would be some middle of the road West team struggling to get out of the first round. That is why fans should never be GM's because there is no place in sports for emotional decisions. This sounds terrible but you need to be very cut throat in sports. No player is above finishing his career off with another team.
I know the Seahawks will get killed for this decision. Let people kill this decision those same people killed the Philadelphia Eagles for trading Donovan McNabb in division. The Green Bay Packers were second guess for two straight seasons for letting Brett Favre go. Well the Packers won a super bowl three years after being "dumb" and the Eagles with Michael Vick look great for another five to six seasons. Had either franchise hung on to the past they'd be in terrible shape right now as we speak. If Jerry Rice and Joe Montana can finish off their careers with another team then any player in the NFL can finish somewhere else. Hasselbeck for as great as he was isn't that quarterback anymore. In the last three seasons he is just 12-23 as a starting quarterback with 34 TD's to 44 INT's while completing just 58.5% of his passes. He was great in the playoffs but that shouldn't erase being below average for three straight seasons. Hasselbeck is 35 years old with a quarterback rating of under 76.0 the last three seasons. The Seahawks were left with no choice but to say good bye to Hasselbeck.
In sports it is always tough to say good bye to a franchise leader. For Pete Carroll unless he wins a Super Bowl will always be hated as he'll be known as the guy who let Hasselbeck go. I give Carroll credit for moving this franchise forward instead of clinging to mediocrity which is what the Hasselbeck era has become since 2005. Unlike the Seattle Mariners who sign 33 year old players to a five year deal worth 90 million dollars the Seahawks are moving forward. Will the Seahawks benefit at first? No they won't in fact I expect them to be terrible this year. Will the Seahawks be better off long term? Hell yes! They'll find their franchise quarterback in next years draft so knowing that will make the pain of this year go down easier. The Seahawks don't want to be like the Mariners where they are last place while paying an icon top money for what he did yesterday instead of what he can do tomorrow. In the world of sports loyalty can only go so far. The great teams who consistently win like the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, and Philadelphia Eagles are the three most cut throat franchises in the NFL. They constantly tell their old guys "thanks for the career but there is the door." That is how you have to run a sports franchise to be successful.
In conclusion, I'm sad to know Hasselbeck won't be with the Seahawks this year. I'm also happy knowing that my franchise doesn't make moves based on fan reaction instead they make business like moves. Just remember John Schneider came from the Packers so he saw first hand the circus of the Favre saga. He also saw the Packers win a Super Bowl three years later so he'll take some heat knowing down the road he'll be getting praise from those same people. The Hasselbeck era is good for both parties but mark my words the Seahawks five years from now will look back happy with this decision. There is no room for loyalty and when Hasselbeck retires I can't wait to see him inducted in the ring of honor I just don't want him being my quarterback for 2011 and 2012. The Seahawks made a tough decision today letting Hasselbeck go and I have a feeling one of their faces on defense will be let go later the preseason. For now I'll thank Hasselbeck for his great career in Seattle while being excited knowing the Seahawks management got this tough decision right.