LuckWatch: Seahawks' QB maneuvering

November, 9, 2011
11/09/11
2:00
PM ET
Andrew LuckJim Z. Rider/US PresswireAndrew Luck has thrown at least three touchdown passes in six of Stanford's nine games this season.
The Seattle Seahawks' handling of the quarterback situation this season has produced quite a bit of confusion.

When in doubt, follow the money.

Signing Tarvaris Jackson to a contract averaging $4 million a year -- less than what the team is paying its left guard, tight end and backup quarterback -- revealed plenty about the Seahawks' plans for the position.

The move told us the Seahawks were serious about drafting a quarterback in 2012, whether it's Andrew Luck or another prospect likely to be chosen early. Saying so outright would have sent the wrong message to fans and the current team, of course, but a $4 million bet on Jackson wasn't much of a bet at all.

The related decision to part ways with Matt Hasselbeck, who commanded $9 million a year on the market, told us Seattle saw little point in squeezing a couple additional victories from a team that wasn't going to contend for a championship, anyway.

The Seahawks would almost certainly be better with Hasselbeck, provided their former long-time starter could have held up physically behind a young, inconsistent line. But how much better would they have been? Enough to finish 7-9 or 8-8 and out of the running for a top quarterback in the draft? What then?

Swapping Jackson for Hasselbeck fell short of a blatant "Suck for Luck" mantra, but not all that far short. Teams finishing 4-12 last season picked second through fourth. Teams with five victories were fifth and sixth. Teams with six victories picked seventh to 13th.

After watching the Seahawks fall to 2-6, it's looking like Seattle will have a shot at drafting a quarterback early, even if another team winds up with Luck.

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