Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Source: Matt Hasselbeck to be a Titan
ESPN.com news services
The Tennessee Titans swooped in Wednesday on Matt Hasselbeck, reaching agreement with the free-agent quarterback on a multiyear contract, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Hasselbeck spent the past 10 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, and the Titans are hoping he can bring stability to the position and work with rookie Jake Locker, the No. 8 overall draft pick.
Veteran Kerry Collins retired three weeks ago, and the Titans plan to trade or release Vince Young before training camp opens Friday.
Free agents aren't allowed to sign contracts until Friday, and terms of Hasselbeck's agreement were not available.
"I think it's a good move," Titans wide receiver Damian Williams said Wednesday. "Obviously, we've got a bunch of young guys with Jake and Rusty (Smith) and they're not quite acclimated. We've got a brand new system, so to bring in a veteran that knows how to adapt quickly I think that's a good move. Those guys can have someone to learn from."
The Seahawks reached a deal Tuesday with quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, a clear sign they were moving on without Hasselbeck. Back in January, coach Pete Carroll pronounced that re-signing Hasselbeck was Seattle's No. 1 priority, but the two sides could not reach an agreement before the 4½-month NFL lockout.
During the 2010 season, the 35-year-old Hasselbeck played in 14 games, throwing for 3,001 yards, 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions while completing 59.9 percent of his passes. Originally drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the sixth round of the 1998 draft, the three-time Pro Bowl selection has 29,579 yards passing, 176 touchdowns and 128 interceptions while completing 60.1 percent of his passes in 12 seasons.
Hasselbeck comes to Tennessee already familiar with Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt, who worked in the Seahawks' front office before joining the Titans in 2007, and Locker, who played for the Washington Huskies.
"From college to the NFL is a big adjustment," tight end Jared Cook said. "To have somebody to learn under, especially somebody as experienced as Matt Hasselback, I think is going to benefit all our quarterbacks."
In the post-lockout rush to complete rosters, the Titans needed to sign nine draft picks, including Locker, work to keep some of their own free agents and possibly add a veteran defensive tackle, linebacker and safety. They agreed to terms with 14 undrafted rookies Tuesday.
The challenges don't end with signing players, either. The start of training camp will mark the first time players get to work out with coach Mike Munchak and a staff of new assistants.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.