Seahawks could readdress QB situation in 2012

Posted July 29, 2011 @ 4:26 p.m.
Posted By Dan Arkush

Updated 3:15 p.m. ET Saturday, July 30

So who's the best bet to replace Matt Hasselbeck under center in Seattle? Will it be the holdover, Charlie Whitehurst, or the newcomer, Tarvaris Jackson?

Despite the fact Whitehurst is getting a week's head start on Jackson, who isn't able to officially begin practicing until Aug. 4, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll proclaimed early in training camp that Jackson would intially be the new starting quarterback in Seattle.

In any event, the consensus among our sources on the scene is that the Seahawks are replacing an older "bridge" QB in Hasselbeck with a much younger temporary fix in either Whitehurst or Jackson.

We hear a much longer-term heavy hitter — perhaps Stanford's Andrew Luck, who is quite likely to be the top pick in next year's draft, or maybe veteran Carson Palmer, a former signalcaller at USC under Pete Carroll who is currently under contract with Cincinnati — could enter the equation next season.

"They haven't said that, but I think that's a fair assessment," said one team insider of the team's QB strategy. "For now, I think they are looking to go a more cost-effective route, tapering the offense around both guys' (Whitehurst and Jackson's) skills and deficiencies, with bigger plans on tap next year."

Jackson widely figured to have a leg up on Whitehurst after spending the last five seasons in Minnesota playing under new Seahawks' offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell — as well as the last four years playing with WR Sidney Rice, who agreed to a reported five-year, $41 million deal with the Seahawks one day after Jackson agreed to a deal that is a carbon copy of Whitehurst's contract ($8 million over two years).

Rice's future in Seattle appears a lot more clear-cut.

"They really like the fact he's only 24 years old," the insider said of Rice. "They got the big receiver they wanted last year in Mike Williams, and now they think they have the big-play receiver they needed opposite Williams in Rice.

"As far as projections go (for Rice), they're counting more on the impact of his catches than the number of catches. They envision him being a lot like (former Seahawks WR) Darrell Jackson, who could take a short pass for a big gain when they needed it.

"They didn't get that (dimension) much last year."