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Matt Hasselbeck retires from NFL, joins ESPN

Colts backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is retiring from the NFL after 18 years and is joining ESPN as an analyst.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Last night it was reported that Colts backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck would be heading to ESPN as an analyst, and it was made official today.  Hasselbeck announced his retirement from the NFL and will be joining ESPN to cover the league.

Hasselbeck will be a part of ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown show and will also travel to the site of the Monday Night Football game to be a part of Monday Night Countdown. He will also appear on other shows throughout the week, such as NFL Live.

"As a kid, playing in the NFL was always my dream and it turned out to be way more fun than I could've ever imagined," Hasselbeck said in a statement released by ESPN.  "Throughout 18 incredible seasons, I had the chance to forge many relationships with teammates, coaches and staff that I will cherish forever.  Those relationships made my playing career all the more memorable.  With the support of my family, we've made the decision to embark on the next chapter.  I'm extremely thankful for the opportunity to have represented the NFL and so many great teams.

"The exceptional opportunity presented to me by ESPN accelerated my decision to retire from playing football," he added.  "I'm excited for the chance to give everything I have to this new endeavor and share the knowledge I have with our viewers."

The Colts had informed Hasselbeck that he wasn't in their plans and that they weren't going to be re-signing him, and while it is likely a number of teams would have had interest in Hasselbeck for their backup quarterback spot, he is instead opting to take a job in which he'll be hit much, much less than he was last year with Indianapolis.  He spent three seasons as the backup to Andrew Luck, but in 2015 he was thrust into the starting role for eight games due to Luck's injuries.  During his 18 seasons in the NFL, Hasselbeck played in 209 games and started 160, completing 3,222 of 5,330 passes (60.5%) for 36,638 yards (6.9 yards per attempt), 212 touchdowns, and 153 interceptions for a passer rating of 82.4.  He played with four different teams, as he spent time with the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans, and Indianapolis Colts.  A three-time Pro Bowler, Hasselbeck also helped lead the Seahawks to the Super Bowl in 2005.

Hasselbeck is a very smart and knowledgable guy and is also very personable, meaning he should fit in well covering the game for ESPN.  He spent the Colts' bye week in 2014 in a broadcast booth and planned to do the same in 2015, though Luck's injury and thus Hasselbeck taking over as the starter changed those plans.  In other words, though, he's had his eye on a potential career in the media once his playing days were over, and that time has now arrived.  Congrats to Matt Hasselbeck on a great career and on his new job, one that I'm sure he'll be tremendous at.