A photo of Tennessee Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck when he was with the Seattle Seahawks was among the evidence in the New Orleans Saints' "bounty" program showed to the media earlier this week. Hasselbeck had heard his name was mentioned, but he brushed it aside Wednesday.
"I don't know what to believe. I am not following it that closely," Hasselbeck said, via Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. "I think what I heard was the quarterback, the running back and the top wide receiver were the three names (on the bounty list for that game). Those are the names you would expect, I guess.
" ... I have been going about my thing, and I really don't know what to say. I guess thereâs been a lot of âhe said, he said' in the situation."
Of course, when you complete 22 of 35 pass attempts for 272 yards with four touchdowns during the Seahawks' 41-36 wild-card win over the Saints in the 2010 playoffs, it's easy to shrug off being mentioned as a target of bounty program. Winning affords the opportunity to take the path of Frank Gore, who took it as a sign of respect.
Another factor into Hasselbeck's blasé reaction to this latest development could be his involvement in the NFL Players Association, as he was elected to serve on the NFLPA's Executive Committee in March. You might have already heard this, here or somewhere else, but the union has some issues with the league's evidence into the Saints' "bounty" program.
What's likely more of a factor in Hasselbeck's reaction is that he's been playing football -- either in college or professionally -- for nearly 20 years. Chances are good that defenders have said some unsavory things to Hasselbeck over that span. Having lived through that, it would seem a bit silly that a picture would illicit much of a reaction.