Matt Hasselbeck hopes his 10th season in Seattle wasn't his last.
The quarterback couldn't work out a contract with the Seahawks before the NFL's collective bargaining agreement expired last month, but he isn't upset about it. In fact, he wants to stay.
"I would put myself in the same boat as probably 500 other guys," Hasselbeck told The Boston Globe for a story in Sunday's editions. "It's kind of hard to do a deal without knowing what the rules of the game are, and so most of us free agents were just kind of sitting in a holding pattern until this new CBA comes down. And we all knew it was going to be that.
"There's maybe a handful of guys that were going to definitely get done before the lockout began, and I truly thought that I would be one of those guys potentially, because of my desire to stay and everything (the Seahawks) had told me. But it didn't happen, and that's OK. I'm not upset about anything. I understand it's kind of a weird year and it's a hard year to forecast."
After the Seahawks' surprising 2010 season ended in the divisional playoff round, coach Pete Carroll called re-signing Hasselbeck the team's top priority. But that was three months ago, and with the April 28-30 draft approaching, many believe the Seahawks could target a young quarterback to put alongside Charlie Whitehurst, leaving 35-year-old Hasselbeck looking elsewhere.
"I think it's genuine, I think it's sincere that they want me back, it's just a matter of how badly," said Hasselbeck, who's working out in Phoenix and spending time with his family during the league's labor dispute. "I know that I would like to be there. I think I can help them keep going on what we're building there. It's just a matter if it fits into the new agreement and how they want to do things and whatever else they look at."
Hasselbeck came to the Seahawks in a 2001 trade with the Green Bay Packers and became a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback. He also has thrown for 176 touchdowns and led Seattle to its only Super Bowl appearance.
Hasselbeck said he wouldn't mind sharing his experience with a younger quarterback, should the Seahawks -- or another team -- need it.
"I was fortunate in my career to be around some great veteran quarterbacks and just learned so much from them," Hasselbeck said. "I'm kind of excited for that kind of an opportunity to maybe be on a team with a really talented young guy and just get the opportunity to pay that forward just a little bit, things that I've learned along the way. If I can share that with a really talented guy that's willing to work and listen, that could be a really fun thing. And at the same time hopefully be on a really good team."
"He's a great kid, just a wonderful, wonderful guy," Hasselbeck said of Locker. "I feel like he's the kind of guy who would be a great leader on a football team. Just really, really gifted and talented. Almost off the charts with his strength and explosiveness and his running ability. I've just seen him play a little bit, but just an awesome guy to be around. He's just got some of those qualities that you just can't coach.
"And I understand it could be a reality with me this year, whether it's with the Seahawks or wherever that I'm with a guy like that, a young guy."