Will the Seahawks bench Hasselbeck for Whitehurst?

Nov 14, 2010; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (8) takes the snap during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium. The Seahawks defeated the Cardinals 36-18. Photo via Newscom Photo via Newscom

Normally when a team is 6-8 at this point in the season, who they play at quarterback isn’t a newsworthy item (unless a rookie is about to make his debut, of course). But thanks to the ongoing suck that is the NFC West, the Seahawks’ QB situation is still worth following.

After throwing two interceptions and also losing a fumble in the end zone that resulted in a touchdown on Sunday against the Falcons, Matt Hasselbeck was benched for Charlie Whitehurst in the fourth quarter. Hasselbeck has been dealing with a hand injury for the past couple of weeks and his play the past two games has been horrendous. Whitehurst came in and moved the ball decently against Atlanta, but he was filthy bad earlier in the year when he started against the Giants so he doesn’t offer the Hawks an easy solution.

Pete Carroll has a tough decision on his hands and he was noncommittal on his Week 16 starter following the loss to the Falcons. He said he would “evaluate where we are and what we need to do and all of that,” but there has been no decision made about who will start next Sunday at the Bucs.

It’s feasible that the Seahawks and Rams could both lose next week and the NFC West crown will come down to Week 17 when the two teams meet in Seattle. One would think that making a change at quarterback now would be a bad idea but then one would have not seen how bad Hasselbeck has played the past two weeks. Again, Carroll has one tough decision to make.

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Will the Bills take Clausen at No. 9?

As I’ve discussed throughout the past couple of days, the Donovan McNabb trade is likely to cause a ripple effect in this month’s draft. While head coach Mike Shanahan said recently that the Redskins could still take a quarterback with the fourth overall pick, it’s hard to imagine that they’d select a signal caller that high when they have so many other pressing needs.

The Bills, however, are another story. They’ve seemingly given up on Trent Edwards and while Ryan Fitzpatrick is a fine backup, he’s not the solution either. That makes them an interesting possibility for Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen if he falls to them at No. 9.

But will he fall? Assuming the Rams take Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford at No. 1, the Seahawks, Browns and Raiders – three teams that could be interested in quarterback – all pick before the Bills. Seattle traded for Charlie Whitehurst a couple of weeks ago and the Browns added Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace early this offseason, so both of those teams could be out of the running. (In fact, the Seahawks most definitely are – Whitehurst is their future.) But Oakland was presumably in the mix for McNabb, so they could snag the Notre Dame product at No. 8, one spot ahead of Buffalo.

Of course, even if Clausen is available, the Bills still may take a pass. They have a glaring need for a left tackle and if they pass on someone like Anthony Davis or Bryan Bulaga at No. 9, they run the risk that a starting-caliber LT won’t be available when they pick again at No. 41. That said, if they believe that Clausen is a franchise quarterback, then they can’t pass on him. Having a good left tackle is vital, but quarterback trumps all other positions.

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Seahawks may have trouble acquiring Marshall after trading for Whitehurst

If the Seahawks still had hopes of acquiring receiver Brandon Marshall from the Broncos, they just made things more difficult on themselves.

Seattle swapped second round picks with San Diego in order to acquire quarterback Charlie Whitehurst on Wednesday and also gave up a 2011 third round pick in the process. The price for Marshall has always been a first rounder, but if the Broncos decided to back off their demands and accept less, the Seahawks just lost a lot of bargaining power by moving 20 spots back in the second round.

That said, they still have two first round picks. If they wanted to get creative, they could convince another team to get involved by trading the No. 14 overall selection for a later first round pick, then attempting to work out a deal with Denver for Marshall. Seattle seems reluctant to part with the No. 6 overall pick, but they could do a lot with their selection at No. 14.

Of course, this is only relevant if the Seahawks still want Marshall. Just because they brought him in for a visit at the start of free agency doesn’t mean they’re serious about signing him to an offer sheet. As of right now, they don’t have to do anything because they’re the only ones that have even brought Marshall in for a visit. They can stand pat at the moment and not have to worry about competing with themselves if they do want him.

This will continue to be an intriguing storyline to follow throughout the offseason, as things are starting to heat up in Seattle.

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Seahawks pay steep price for Chargers’ Whitehurst

The Seahawks must be betting that Charlie Whitehurst will be their quarterback of the future, because they paid quite a price to acquire him from the Chargers on Wednesday night.

Seattle and San Diego swapped second round picks in this April’s draft and the Chargers will also get the Seahawks’ 2011 third round pick in exchange for Whitehurst, who has compiled a grand total of zero pass attempts in four seasons. While it’s important to remember that Philip Rivers is the main reason Whitehurst hasn’t seen the field, it’s also noteworthy that the former Clemson product couldn’t beat out Billy Volek for the No. 2 job.

That said, Whitehurst certainly has all the tools necessary to succeed as a starter. He has ideal size (6’4”, 227 pounds), good athleticism and decent arm strength. The problem is that he doesn’t have any experience, so it’s tough to know at this point what the Seahawks are getting. Either way, with the amount of compensation they gave up to acquire him from San Diego, it’s clear that Whitehurst is Pete Carroll’s quarterback for the future and the team considers him a valuable addition to its roster. If he winds up playing well in Seattle, then the compensation will turn out to be a bargain.

As for the Chargers, they got quite the haul here. Moving up 20 spots in the second round and acquiring a third rounder in 2011 is great deal for a player that was never going to see the field. San Diego did very well here and now it has plenty of pieces to make more moves on draft day.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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