We've gotten a bit obsessed recently in our attempts to find out who Jim Irsay's "wopper" wide receiver is that we haven't spent enough time talking about the 2013 Colts free agent acquisitions that we, you know, LIKE!
In fact, because of the Darrius Heyward-Bey visit, I've had to hold off publishing my free agent signing likes and dislikes article.
One signing I did like was the franchise inking quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who was released last week by the Tennessee Titans.
Not a lot has been written about Hasselbeck coming to Indy, and it almost makes me wonder if fans and media have blocked the 2011 season from their collective memories. I know some view that season as the year the Colts intentionally "Sucked for Luck," and I personally think there is some validity to that. I mean, after ten-plus years of playoff appearances, the one year where the Colts go completely into the toilet is also the year Andrew Luck happens to leave Stanford.
While Buffalo fans have languished since Jim Kelly retired, or Miami fans having to endure quarterbacks like Jay Fielder, Chad Henne, or Pat White, the Indianapolis Colts went from Peyton Manning to Andrew Luck.
Doesn't seem fair, does it?
However, the reality of the modern, entertainment-driven NFL world is that a team cannot have a star quarterback backed up by someone who is a complete chump. A season cannot simply end just because the starting quarterback goes down. Bill Polian played with this fire for years, thinking his job was safe even if anything happened to Peyton Manning. He was wrong, and current general manager Ryan Grigson is not about to make the same mistake.
Enter Hasselbeck. A smart move. A calculated move.
The obvious benefit of Hasselbeck is that, should anything happen to Luck, the season is not over. He can come in, run the offense, and do enough to help the team win games they should. Is he going to go out there and light the scoreboard up? No. He's now an efficient passer, not a game-changer. As a back-up that's all you need.
He also bring experience to the table, something Luck and fellow second-year quarterback Chandler Harnish don't have a lot of. Harnish in particular. We've already posted an article detailing how Hasselbeck will help Harnish, but the fifteen-year pro in Hasselbeck will absolutely function as an information asset for Luck. In a recent interview with Colts.com, Hasselbeck pointing how how excited he was to work with Luck, whom he called "a tremendous talent."
The final thing Hasselbeck brings is insider knowledge on a division rival, the Tennessee Titans. Hasselbeck told Colts.com that if there is anything he can share or lend in terms of knowledge, he will. Well, I can guarantee that Chuck Pagano will ask Hasselbeck to detail some of the tendencies of the Titans offensive personnel. Hasselbeck started 21 games the last two seasons in Tennessee. If anyone knows what makes players like Kenny Britt, Chris Johnson, or Jake Locker tick, it's Hasselbeck.
Hasselbeck's contract is reportedly a two-year deal worth $8,000,000. His cap hit this year is reportedly $3,500,000. Not bad. Not bad at all for a guy who brings so much to the table.