Contract status distracting Hasselbeck

Updated: December 20, 2004, 4:15 PM ET
By Randy Mueller | ESPN Insider
Each week, former NFL general manager Randy Mueller will answer questions from Insiders. To send in a question, click here.

Randy,
As you can imagine, being a Seahawks fan this season has been as disappointing as ever. One week we look destined for a run and the next we simply play with no heart. My question is this: Do you think Matt Hasselbeck still warrants a big contract if he continues to perform down the stretch? Also, I know a vast majority of the fans are down on Mike Holmgren, but who else would really be better?
Jeremiah Johnson,
Portland, Ore.

Jeremiah,
I'll let the season play out before I tackle the Holmgren questions. Obviously, after six years you'd like a better sense of progress, but that will take care of itself.

Matt Hasselbeck
Hasselbeck
As for Hasselbeck, he is clearly talented enough to be a starting QB in the NFL. I think the Seahawks gambled by letting him play out his contract and become a free agent. Some players handle this better than others. For example, Shaun Alexander has had a career year and will be paid handsomely for it. Hasselbeck has not handled the contract issue well, and in my opinion, has shown effects of it weighing on his mind all year long.

I think it has bothered him greatly that Seattle didn't continue to negotiate when the regular season began. In the end the Seahawks will end up keeping him because there are no other QBs who will be an upgrade (after franchise tags are used, etc). I think he'll be a different guy, for the better, with a new contract in his pocket.


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