The 40 year old veteran quarterback plans on playing next season, but it turns out it will no longer be with the Colts.
Hasselbeck has spent the last three seasons in Indianapolis, even starting 8 games this past season in relief of starting quarterback Andrew Luck.
The 18-year veteran was 4-0 in his 1st 4 starts this season, as Hasselbeck completed 97 of 150 pass attempts (64.7%) for 1,023 passing yards, 7 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and a passer rating of 94.4.
However, after taking a number of big hits and subsequently suffering from a number of physical injuries, Hasselbeck’s play began to significantly dip–having been knocked out of a number of games late in the season.
The Colts need to get younger on the field, and while Hasselbeck as a backup quarterback shouldn’t theoretically make much of a difference, the team appears confident that fellow backup quarterback Josh Freeman–who’s only 28 years old, can successfully take over the reins behind Luck.
Originally a 1st round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009, Freeman impressed in the Colts regular season finale–despite only being signed to the team a few days prior.
At 6’6″, 240 pounds, and on the right side of 30, Freeman figures to be able to take some of the hard hits and punishment in the pocket that Hasselbeck may no longer physically be able to.
Freeman’s always been blessed with a strong arm, and it’s never been a question of his physical talent and ability–just his maturity.
Still, Hasselbeck will be missed. The veteran quarterback was credited with easing some of Luck’s early development as a reliable soundboard for the young quarterback.
He was both highly regarded by Luck, as well as the Colts organization as a whole.
That being said, instead of worrying about who’s playing backup quarterback, the primary focus should be on improving the offensive line so it becomes a moot point.
Without Luck, the Colts aren’t going to go very far anyways, so it doesn’t really matter who’s taking the backup reps behind him when it’s all said and done.