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Appearances continue to be very deceiving in Seattle

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Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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Posted June 15, 2011 @ 7:23 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

Matt Hasselbeck could not have seemed less like a lame duck at the Seahawks' largest players-only workout of the offseason late last week at the University of Washington's Dempsey Indoor facility that was attended by about 40 players. But the firm belief belief shared by well-connected league observers such as Sports Illustrated's Peter King that the Seahawks will not re-sign the veteran free-agent QB has created a disconnect in the Pacific Northwest of pretty major proportions.

"It's all very interesting," one source said of the scene. "Hasselbeck sure still looked like the No. 1 QB. (Seahawks RB) Justin Forsett got most of the credit for organizing the workout, but he admitted that once he got Matt to commit, he knew everybody else would fall in line, which is pretty strange."

Adding to the oddity was the relatively uninspiring presence of Charlie Whitehurst, the odds-on favorite to take over as the starter under center  — if Hasselbeck is indeed moving on —by virtue of being the only quarterback currently under contract.

"A lot of people are saying, 'Why isn't he (Whitehurst) leading drills instead of Hasselbeck?' and it's a valid question," the source said. "Charlie just has a different kind of personality. That's not a knock on him. It's just that Hasselbeck commands such great respect."

But it would appear that respect has its limits, with the team's reluctance to give Hasselbeck anything more than a one-year deal standing directly in the way of a continued relationship, according to some sources.

It's also worth noting the disconnect on the other side of the ball at last week's workout, as two other up-in-the-air free agents  — veteran DBs Lawyer Milloy and Jordan Babineaux — filled the biggest leadership roles and were the most vocal participants in defensive drills.

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