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Say hello to Charlie Whitehurst, who has to be very high on the list of the most intriguing players to switch teams so far this offseason.
As was the case nine years ago, when they swapped first-round picks with the Packers and also gave up a third-round pick in exchange for little-known Matt Hasselbeck, the Seahawks paid an eyebrow-raising price, both in draft picks and salary, for Whitehurst. He will be counted on as Hasselbeck's heir apparent, even though he did not throw a regular-season pass during four seasons in San Diego.
"They really like everything about him — his size (6-feet-4), his arm strength, his mobility — and just think he's the total package," a team source said of Whitehurst, who reportedly will be paid more than $4 million each of the next two seasons after the Seahawks traded down 20 spots in the second round (from 40th to 60th) and gave up a third-round pick in 2011 to obtain him from the Chargers.
"They thought he was better than any free agent available and figured both Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen would probably be gone by the time they made their first pick (sixth overall)."
But as much as head coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider genuinely like Whitehurst — Schneider and Whitehurst were born in the same hospital in Green Bay, Wis. — they both have made it clear that Hasselbeck, who is scheduled to make $5.75 million in base salary in the final year of his contract, is still the undisputed starter.
"Matt's still definitely the guy," the insider said. "Everybody sat down and decided that, with Seneca Wallace being traded to Cleveland, it was important to at least create some legitimate competition for Hasselbeck."
Now that they feel they've accomplished that goal, the addition of a quality new target for Hasselbeck, Broncos' restricted free-agent WR Brandon Marshall, could be the Seahawks' next big move.
At the league meetings in Orlando, Carroll mentioned the team's interest in Marshall, who paid a visit to Seattle with his fiancée on March 6-7.
Carroll made special mention of the team's "unique insight" on Marshall, courtesy of the three coaches on his staff who worked with the receiver in Denver — offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, WR coach Jedd Fisch and TE coach Pat McPherson.
For the most authoritative NFL draft news and free-agency analysis, visit ProFootballWeekly.com.