After 15 seasons and 168 games, what is the motivation for quarterback Matt Hasselbeck to move on to his fourth NFL team?
A Super Bowl ring?
“I’d say that’s pretty high on the list,” Hasselbeck said of his desire to continue playing for the Lombardi Trophy.
“That’s certainly something that’s on my bucket list. I came really close one time and not as close a couple other times, but it’s something that I want to accomplish while I still have the opportunity.”
The news of Hasselbeck’s release came during a family vacation for the 15-year NFL veteran and he admitted that it came as a surprise.
Hasselbeck realizes that he’s now walking into a building where the starting quarterback position is established but after talking it over with his family and agent, it was the Colts that continued to stick out.
“Obviously the reputation that the Colts organization has and the kind of player that Andrew Luck is, more and more it made sense,” Hasselbeck said of his decision on Tuesday afternoon.
“I would also say that the Colts interest from that moment that I got the phone call to (Tuesday) morning when I signed the contract, their interest just felt the most consistent and it just felt right. There’s 100 reasons why it’s a good idea and I could probably go through them all. But I can just say that I think it’s an obvious fit for a lot of different reasons and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano spearheaded Indianapolis’ effort in acquiring the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback.
Hasselbeck said he doesn’t personally know Luck and relied on Pagano’s insight into fellow players and coaches to inform the former Titans quarterback of the culture in Indianapolis.
One area where both quarterback and coach already see eye-to-eye on is their vision of the Colts making a deep playoff run.
In 2005, Hasselbeck led Seattle to Super Bowl XL but a fourth quarter comeback bid fell short after an interception in Pittsburgh Steelers territory halted the Seahawks attempt at the elusive championship.
At the age of 37, this might be Hasselbeck’s final stop on a storied career with one chapter still to be written.
His role isn’t that of the lead character but after 15 years of playing with a multitude of signal callers, it’s time for Hasselbeck to instill a young quarterback with some of the knowledge that made him such a commodity the past few days.
“I’m just really thankful for all the different (quarterbacks) that poured in me and shared with me (their insights), some of the good, some of the bad,” Hasselbeck said.
“I can say what’s probably been the most enjoyable, whatever that makeup is with the (quarterbacks) coach and the three (quarterbacks), or however many guys, when that group is really strong and sort of in a fun way competitive with each other and also just like tight, it makes the whole season fun. I think it really can permeate through the team in a positive way.”
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The Indianapolis Colts have signed unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin. The team also announced that exclusive rights free agent guard Joe Reitz has signed his tender.
“Aubrayo is a great fit for our team on many fronts,” said General Manager Ryan Grigson. “He’s an excellent run defender that plays with great technique and has played in the scheme for Greg Manusky in the past. We feel he is a veteran ‘pillar’ type addition that will bring a strong intangible package to the field and our locker room. We are all glad he is now a Colt and part of our team.”
Franklin, 6-1, 315 pounds, has appeared in 126 games, making 79 starts over his 10-year NFL career. He holds regular season totals of 431 tackles (230 solo), eight passes defensed, 4.0 sacks, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one interception.
Franklin played in 12 games (nine starts) with the San Diego Chargers in 2012 and totaled 23 tackles, including 19 solo stops. Prior to joining the Chargers, he played one season with the New Orleans Saints (2011) where he saw action in all 16 games for the fourth consecutive year and registered 31 tackles (13 solo).
Franklin spent four seasons (2007-2010) with the San Francisco 49ers where he competed in 62 games (60 starts) and tallied 312 tackles (163 solo), 3.0 sacks, six passes defensed, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one interception. He had one of his best seasons in 2009 when he posted career highs of 88 tackles (49 solo) and 2.0 sacks while recording his first career interception.
Franklin was originally selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the fifth round (146th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft and spent four years with the team. With the Ravens, he appeared in 36 games (one start), making 65 tackles (35 solo), two passes defensed and 1.0 sack.
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The Indianapolis Colts today signed free agent quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
“We are very pleased to announce the signing of Matt Hasselbeck,” said General Manager Ryan Grigson. “His body of work, intangibles, and extensive league experience speak for themselves. Those factors, plus his familiarity with our offensive scheme, will make him a great asset to our team and its vision as we move forward.”
Hasselbeck, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, has competed in 194 games (152 starts) over his 14-year NFL career. He has completed 3,029-of-5,018 passes for 34,517 yards, 201 touchdowns and 147 interceptions for a passer rating of 82.2. He currently ranks fourth among active quarterbacks in attempts, completions and passing yards and fifth in passing touchdowns. In the postseason, he has started 11 games, completing 237-of-406 passes for 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions for an 84.4 rating. He holds 22 career 300-yard passing performances in the regular season and two in the postseason.
Hasselbeck joins the Colts after spending the last two seasons (2011-2012) with the Tennessee Titans. In 2011, he produced one of the best seasons of his career. His 518 attempts and 3,571 yards made up the fourth-highest single-season totals in team history, while his completions (319) ranked third in club annals. His 18 touchdown passes were the most since 2004 (Billy Volek), and with 28 completions of 25 yards-or-more, Hasselbeck had the highest big-play total since Steve McNair in 2001 (32).
Prior to joining the Titans, Hasselbeck spent 10 seasons (2001-2010) with the Seattle Seahawks where he led the team to six postseason berths and their only Super Bowl appearance in 2005. In his time with the Seahawks, he posted an 82.2 passer rating, completing 2,559-of-4,250 passes for 29,434 yards, 174 touchdowns and 128 interceptions.
In 2010, Hasselbeck started both postseason games to become the Seahawks’ all-time leader in playoff games played and started. He also set a franchise postseason single-game record with four touchdown passes against New Orleans (1/8/11) in an NFC Wild Card victory.
In 2009, Hasselbeck became the Seahawks’ all-time franchise leader in career attempts, completions and passing yards, surpassing Dave Krieg in each category. He also set a single-game record against Detroit (11/8/09), completing 39 passes, including 15 consecutive, tied for second-most in club history.
In 2007, Hasselbeck earned his third Pro Bowl selection after setting career highs for attempts (562), completions (352), passing yards (3,966) and touchdown passes (28). In 2005, he was named the starter for the NFC Pro Bowl squad after posting a career and NFC-best 98.2 passer rating, leading the Seahawks to an appearance in Super Bowl XL.
In 2003, Hasselbeck earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl after guiding the Seahawks to their first-ever undefeated home record. He tied his own record for most 300-yard games in a season (four) and recorded then-career-highs of 3,841 passing yards, 26 passing touchdowns and an 88.8 passer rating.
Hasselbeck was originally selected by the Green Bay Packers in the sixth round (187th overall) of the 1998 NFL Draft and spent three seasons with the Packers before being traded to the Seahawks prior to the start of the 2001 campaign.
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