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Does lockout exacerbate quarterback need?

3/13/2011

Ryan asks via Facebook whether the lockout heightens the Seattle Seahawks' need at quarterback given that Charlie Whitehurst is the only one under contract for 2011.

It's too early to say anything has changed from a practical standpoint. There's ample time to get an agreement, have free agency and enjoy a nearly regular offseason. But as a lockout drags on, I wonder to what extent the tense labor climate will poison relationships between players and their teams.

Negotiations can get personal even in a normal labor climate. The obvious distrust between the NFL and NFL Players Association could carry over into individual player negotiations. If a player were a little miffed about not getting a deal done, might those feelings fester during a lockout? I think they could.

That thought comes to mind when I think about Matt Hasselbeck's situation with Seattle. The sides did not get a deal done in time to prevent Hasselbeck from testing free agency, should there be free agency. Were feelings hurt? The way Hasselbeck's brother, Tim, discussed the situation made me wonder.

Trust and communication are critical for negotiations. The trust between owners and players has frayed significantly. The lockout cuts off communication. It's a bad situation that could get worse. To answer your original question, yes, the lockout could heighten Seattle's need at quarterback, particularly if it makes Hasselbeck less likely to return.