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Matt Hasselbeck 'leaning toward' playing 18th season

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Peyton Manning turns 40 next month, but he isn't the only middle-aged passer contemplating his NFL playing future.

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After starting eight games for the Colts this past season, Matt Hasselbeck told ESPN Seattle's "Brock and Salk" show on Thursday that he's "strongly leaning toward" playing an 18th NFL season.

"I haven't really, I guess, made up my mind completely on it," Hasselbeck said, per the station's Brady Henderson. "You've got to decide that you'll be ready to go for all the other stuff. It's a commitment. If you're a football player, you start back up April 18. It's a grind. You've got to give it everything you've got, you've got to be all in, you've got to realize there are going to be injuries, it is going to be a physical game, you're going to get hit in the head a bunch."

Said Hasselbeck: "Even for me, likely being a backup, you've got to have the mind-set that you might have to start -- or get to start -- 16 games and then some. So you've kind of got to count the cost of what it would mean, what you're saying yes to and what you're saying no to. My kids are getting older. But all in all, I would say I'm strongly leaning towards playing again, and we'll see."

Hasselbeck told The Indianapolis Star last month that he wanted to wait a few weeks to make his decision, especially after playing through a laundry list of injuries this past season.

As Andrew Luck's understudy, the savvy veteran stepped into action to guide the Colts to a 5-3 record and helped the team with his unflappable approach to the game. Set to hit free agency, we'd expect the Colts to keep Hasselbeck around at the right price.

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