Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell called quarterback Matt Hasselbeck when the lockout was briefly lifted and expressed to him how much the team wanted him to return, according to a league source.
Hasselbeck was said to be open to the idea of returning to Seattle, where he developed into a Pro Bowl player. One source familiar with the quarterback's thinking said Hasselbeck now is "as likely to return there as he ever was."
Bevell called Hasselbeck during the window in which teams were allowed to talk to their players when the lockout was lifted by a U.S. District Court judge before being reinstated pending the NFL's appeal in a federal court.
After Hasselbeck and the Seahawks were unable to agree on a contract last winter and up until now, there were questions about whether the free agent quarterback would be back in Seattle. But now, the signs point to the two sides potentially reuniting again whenever the NFL's work stoppage ends.
Hasselbeck's return to Seattle would be a significant addition for the Seahawks and for the NFC West quarterback puzzle. It would leave the Seahawks with Hasselbeck and Charlie Whitehurst and leave Arizona as the NFC West team with the most glaring need at quarterback -- and the most likely destination for Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback Kevin Kolb, who has requested a trade in order to gain a starting job.
Arizona has been intrigued with Kolb since it has become known that the Eagles are open to dealing Michael Vick's backup. Kolb would be amenable to playing for the Cardinals and trying to fill the void that was created when Kurt Warner retired over one year ago. And if Seattle has Hasselbeck, Arizona would be more determined than ever to go out and land a quarterback such as Kolb.
San Francisco is the other NFC West team with questions at quarterback. But the 49ers are hoping and expecting to bring back veteran quarterback Alex Smith. The team also invested a second-round pick on Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Adam Schefter is ESPN's NFL Insider.