Peter King: Matt Hasselbeck Could be a “Bridge” in Cleveland

With NFL free agency continuing on, the fallout from quarterback Peyton Manning’s pending decision could reportedly land veteran play-caller Matt Hasselbeck in Cleveland as a member of the Orange and Brown.

Per Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, if Manning opts to return to Tennessee, this time as a professional, an uprooted Hasselbeck could be the next Jake Delhomme.

Matt Hasselbeck. If Manning picks Tennessee, Hasselbeck could be a bridge quarterback in Cleveland or San Francisco.

Colt McCoy. If Manning picks Tennessee and Hasselbeck is imported by Cleveland, McCoy would have a big challenge beating out Hasselbeck in an offense he played every year of his pro career in except 2011 in Nashville.

Naturally, there is a connection between the 36-year-old Hasselbeck,  the long-time Seattle Seahawk, and current Browns president Mike Holmgren as the two were together in Green Bay prior to the two men earning a spot in Super Bowl XL. With free agent Matt Flynn signing in Seattle for three years and $10 million guaranteed (“Frostee Rucker money“), the Browns’ potential options for an upgrade at quarterback continue to dwindle by the day.

[Related: Guessing what the Browns’ moves mean… so far]

  • Tron

    Nothing shows your fan base you want to win games like bringing in another QB on his last leg. It worked so well with Garcia, Dilfer, Delhomne… 

    I know from all their other “moves” in free agency that the FO has pretty much told us not to bother watching this upcoming season and try back in 2013, but this would be the final nail in that coffin. 

  • Mark

    I have a hard time seeing this. It seems to fly in the face of what Heckert is doing – finding long term solutions to the team’s key positions. Hasselbeck is a 2 year answer at best. Maybe if they drafted a QB in the first two rounds and want him to sit behind Hasselbeck, ok. But even that seems to fly in the face of the trend to start QBs right away. No, I don’t see it.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    I guess I don’t see anything wrong with this.  Bring him in…if he beats out McCoy, then he’s an upgrade (at least a slight one).  If not, maybe he can be the veteran QB that can “mentor” McCoy and try to maximize his potential…like DelHomme seemed to do in 2010. 

    I know that’s not what most of the fan base wants to hear, but it’s pretty apparent that we aren’t bringing in a “big name” QB this off season. 

  • Bridge to Nowhere?

    Hasselbeck has Crohn’s Disease (in remission, apparently) and a bad back.  Why even get him?  You made a pseudo-offer to the Rams for RG3 and you missed.  Why do anything else, really?  You lost major offensive weapons by not signing Hillis and missing on the insane bounty of WRs out there as FAs.

    Ask yourself this:  last year the Browns scored 1 point more than the 1999 Browns.  Are they a better team at this point now or before last season started?

    What in the hell are these idiots doing?

  • CLE

    Bring your helmet day at the factory

  • MrCleaveland

    These experts feel the need to crank out a fresh rumor every day just to keep themselves in the conversation, regardless of how unlikely it is that their speculation will pan out. It’s getting tedious.

    Only five more weeks to go.

  • i dont see why this is so outrageous.  even with a griffin or weeden, it’s usually preferable that they not start immediately.  hasselbeck has never sucked when ive seen.  and i would be most interested to see if an experienced practioner can make shurmur’s wco look better than last year.

  • DontbringLBJback

    And maybe we can sign Reggie Langhorn and Webster Slaughter for him to throw to… I hear they can still ball.

  • It just feels like an empty signing.  He is old and has injury problems.  Truly, I’d rather keep Colt and start with him so we can (A) finally show even the truest of true believers that he is just not cut out to be an NFL elite QB and (B) tank for something, I HOPE TO GOD, better in the 2012 draft.

    I never thought I’d say that I prefer McCoy.  Gawd, what did our team come to? 🙁

  • not to go all ‘you mad?‘ on the thread but, check out these ratings on our FA class to date:
    Dimitri Patterson (3 years, $16M; $6M guaranteed): C- Grade Dimitri Patterson is a pretty mediocre nickel corners. It’s not smart to pay mediocre nickel corners $16 million over three years with $6 million of it guaranteed. 

    Frostee Rucker (5 years, $20-plus million): MILLEN ON ACID Grade It’s a good thing the Browns cut Eric Steinbach today. They needed the cap space to sign Frostee Rucker to a big deal. You know, because Rucker is so awesome. 

  • Tron

    This team sucks, and the front office could literally care less. If you try and tell me they DO care, then i’m forced to believe they’re incompetent because of everything they’ve done/haven’t done. Which is worse, not caring or caring and making dumb decisions? Either way I look forward to watching Captain Clutch kick 2 to 3 field goals a game all while being essentially out of the game by the second quarter, only to watch a garbage time touchdown get it close, and have the kool-aid drinkers tell me about progress….

  • Harv 21

    He would be the bridge to whom? And if they draft a talented QB, who says Hasselbeck is in mentor with clipboard/last NFL paycheck mode?

    After not getting Griffin, looks like they’re set up to see how Colt plays one last year with a rookie behind him. A Hasselbeck-McCoy competition, with Hasselbeck earning even low range starter money he will probably get, seems like a cap-eating bridge to nowhere. This seems like empty speculation Peter King needs to fill his quota when nothing’s happening.  

  • BenRM

    FWIW, the analyst claims Lloyd was the “top player at his position on the market” which is a debatable analysis at best.

  • steve-o

    That would only make sense if they bring him in as a mentor for one last shot to turn Colt into the QB they want. There is no reason to bring in any veteran FA’s who could actually contribute now since the Browns clearly do not want to risk falling too far in next year’s draft. But at least we might finally get our QB of the future next year followed by only one or two more seasons of growing pains, so we’ve got that going for us.

  • Max

    at the end of Peter King’s article he goes on to discuss the RGIII trade a little more, including some quotes from the GM of the Rams.  If you believe the Rams’ story (which, why would their GM lie at this point?) all teams were told to make their best offer. Apparently, the Browns did not do this. They sent an offer, then once they realized the ‘Skins offer was better, tried to improve their own offer.

    That is a massive failure. Whether, as fans, we agreed with the idea of trading up to go get RGII or not, the Honchos decided it was worth it. We say all the time that they are the professionals, we are just fans, so what do we (fans) know. We defer to the Honchos in these matters routinely. The Honchos determined RGII was worth the price of trading up, but then tried to get cute with it, for some reason thinking (I guess) they could re-up their offer if necessity compelled them to 

    Now we are apparently just going to have to sit through “Suck-a-palooza 2012” on a bridge to nowhere.  Honestly, the earliest I can see this team even thinking that it might have a shot at the division is 2014. That’s if everything they do between now and then works out.

    Unfortunately, before then Heckert, Holmgren and Shurmur will most likely be jettisoned, and we will start the “rebuilding” all over again.  The Great Wall of China took less time

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Spend the money on washed up ex-QBs from other teams as well as fired head coaches.

  • MallaLubba

    I think you’re mixing up Hasselbeck and Garrard. …unless Hasselbeck has the same health problems as Garrad, I guess.

  • mgbode

    and uses the full Frostee contract as damnation rather than the breakdown that was demonstrated here a few days ago (very little the next 2 years for him to “prove” he’s not just a rotational guy).

    I don’t know.  I understand why people are upset as we don’t seem to be in an obvious better place today (except against the run). 

    It’d be nice to at least find a FS and a WOLB that we can plug in so we don’t have so many friggin’ needs when the draft rolls around.

  • Natedawg86

    Please no.  We know what Hasselbeck is.  We do not know what Colt McCoy is.

  •  The Browns did make their best offer, the Redskins trumped it. It’s not as if the Browns offered a fourth-round pick and MoMass to the Rams, they offered three first-round picks.

    Should the Browns have offered five first-round picks? Six? What’s the number? Let’s say they offered a boatload of picks and then, when the news leaked out that they grossly overpaid compared to what the Redskins were offering, people would be killing them all the same.

    They gave it a shot and missed. It happens.

  • Max

    no, they didn’t. If you make and offer and then try to improve it, that means your first offer was not you “best”

  • Max

    yup, at this point, give him every opportunity. Call some plays from the shotgun. Install a hot rout or two, and let the chips fall where they may. At least then, we will know one way or the other going into 2013

  • Harv 21

    agree with you both. As Titus implies, the “no price too high” philosophy collapses when examined. But agree with Max that if the Browns got panicky and abandoned their own pre-determined value for this player, or if they miscalculated the Rams’s intent to follow a procedure because Holmgren thinks he has cache to do so, that was a bad fail.  Either scenario sounds more like Holmgren than Heckert, who seems mighty cool during drafts. And if either bad thing happened maybe it had something to do with Heckert not yet being able to fully participate.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    This wouldn’t surprise me in the least and I’m sure the Browns have done everything they could to bury this as deep as possible.  Wouldn’t want to tarnish that stellar winning image.

  • yeah.. i think i may turn out to be unfair to ding the rucker signing as not addressing pass rush if we wind up with melvin ingram in the draft.

  • Woops.  Stand corrected.

  • porkchopexpress

    Really don’t like a Hasslebeck signing either.  Number one you might as well cut Colt, because you can’t yank the starting job for the 2012 season, and then give it back to him in ’13 to “see if he is good”.  Second it really flys in the face of what H&H have been saying they would do. 

    Not to keep hammering this point because those who know its true won’t need to read it, and those who don’t apparently can’t read anyway but, also in the Peter King piece is this nugget;
    This is possibly the most over-covered week of anything we do in writing about the league, this first week of free agency. I knew it had gotten totally out of control on Saturday when Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News tweeted: “Amazingly, I’m sensing angst among some Giants fans again about Jerry Reese’s lack of offseason action.”
    Reese is the general manager of the New York Giants. He has had the job five years. He is notoriously slow off the draw in free agency, and he is not alone. In recent years, noted GMs and personnel czars like Ted Thompson (Green Bay), Mickey Loomis (New Orleans), Kevin Colbert (Pittsburgh) and Bill Polian (Indianapolis) have let the free agency field settle down before going after players of moderate cost. In the last six seasons, those franchise architects — Reese, Thompson, Loomis, Colbert, Polian — have won every Super Bowl. Not saying the patient way is the only way to team-build, but come on. Reese did nothing big in 2007 and 2011 and won the Super Bowl both times.
    So since the trend for building Super Bowl winners shows use the draft and be selective in free agency can we please stop all the WE SHOULD HAVE SIGNED SOMEBODY BY NOW! ?  The Browns are a bad team that is going to take time to rebuild and if quick fixes didn’t work for Clark/Davis/Savage/Mangini why would they work now?

  • MrCleaveland

    Okay, we can now scrape this speculation off the wall.


  • The_Real_Shamrock

    No offense but you don’t see the difference between those teams and the Cleveland Browns?  I don’t think anyone, certainly not me, expected them to sign Peyton Manning or Mario Williams but we also didn’t expect Frostee Rucker either. 

    Also those teams by fact of your own statement did indeed use free agency.  I believe Green Bay signed an ex-Heisman Trophy winner in Charles Woodson and New Orleans has signed a bunch of guys.  Indianapolis a few and the Giants too.  C’mon now.

  • porkchopexpress

    Yes I see the difference between those teams and the Cleveland Browns.  For 10 years the Browns have tried to swing big trades, take high risk flashy talent guys, and sign free agents and it has led to losing, and a fna base screaming to stop.  Now that the Browns have stated that they are using the Pitt, Balt, NY, GB, model of building through the draft, and some of you are screaming for them to go back to the Davis/Savage years, and I find it absurd. 
    Woodson signed 5 years before they won the Superbowl, had they not drafted all of the guys they did he wouldn’t have his ring, just look at how many injuries they had that year and how many late round/undrafted pickups they threw in.  And please don’t be so simple, its not an either or question.  I’m not saying ONLY use the draft.  Look at the recievers that NO, Giants, Green Bay, and Indy had, all drafted, D lines drafted.  Of course  not EVERY single player was drafted but the core of successful teams are drafted and pieces are added when you have made the playoffs and seen weakness exposed. 

       Did you happen to notice that the previous regimes in Cleveland traded away draft picks, and signed lots of free agents, where did that get us?   And if you didn’t expect Mario Williams but don’t want Rucker, just what in the heck were you expecting???  Are you seriously going to kill Heckert for signing a guy who might grade out at the low end of mediocre rather than in the middle of mediocre?  I bet if you woke up tomorrow with the power to print $100 bills with your bowel movements you would complain about the papercuts.  You and oribasi, and several others on this site complain non stop about the Browns, but have no real answers, you just like to complain.  I believe the kids today would call you a “hater”.  Although I think they would use an “8” in place of the “a” because its clever to them.

  • BIKI024

    either way, i think a lot of people would argue, this year’s #4 and #22 and 2013 #1 is worth more than this year’s #6 and #38 and 2013 and 2014 #1..  having 2 immediate 1st rounders has a lot of immediate value.  and who knows if Shanahan and Allen will be around in 2014..  either way, it seems the Rams took the less valuable deal.. whether it was due to their relationship with the Skins brass or they are just plain dumb, i guess we’ll never know.. 

  • BIKI024

    haha, yep, just more premature overreaction.. typical..    

  • Roosevelt

    I disagree that it’s a massive failure. Closed auctions are a negotiation technique. It was an attempt by the Rams to get the best offers quickly and expediently, without having to incur transaction costs. The Browns decided to try playing around a little. The Rams didn’t bite. The Rams were equally stupid – they could have gotten more value out of it if they hadn’t been so unyielding. 

  • C-Bus Kevin

    Manning finalizing deal with Broncos…


    /sarcasm…sort of

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Okay nevermind I can see you are one of those people who cannot have a debate or discussion so I’ll just say you are right and I am wrong.  I find nothing you wrote witty or even humorous so have a nice day!

  • BenRM

    The irony of your post is awesome 🙂

  • Dthryll

    call up philly,get vince young,he has corrected the bad situation he was in,with the nut coach, no one out there is any better, give him  the job. he cannot be any wore than the goverment in cleveland. wwe need some one with some gut to lead this team. go get vince young. he is an american.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’ve never been that bad no way not even close. 

  • Harv 21

    I agree with this. Seems we are at a stage in Browns fandom where people are just going to scream b/c the product has been an almost non-stop steaming pile of feces for so long. And if they win 4 in a row and 5 of 7, people will irrationally proclaim us on our way to years of contention, even if it means nothing. Thirteen years of ownership and FO idiocy have made fans walking, breathing hyperbole machines (where’s my illustrator when I need him).

  • porkchopexpress

    Cannot have a debate or discussion? 
    I responded to each point you made with pretty valid reasons I think you are wrong,  I threw one poo joke out and that qualifies me as someone who can’t have a discussion? 
    I would venture to say that as seems to be your MO, you snipe, take low blows at the team and even some at people who disagree with you, and once you actually are asked to intelligently defend your position you slink off under some false pretense.

    The fact that someone else instantly calls you out on it kinda proves the point. 

    But sans any sarcasm, I would sincerely like to know why you didn’t want Mario Williams but are furious over the Rucker signing.
    I would like to know why you think that the failed practices of our previous regimes are worth repeating. And additionally I would like to see some evidence of winning teams that built even 25 percent through free agency.

    I promise no matter what you respond I will keep my responses strictly to the facts.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Seriously dude I don’t care I just got back from making $150!!!

  • porkchopexpress

    I was just contacted by a lawyer friend who represents a group of steaming pile of feces, and they are insisting you cese and desist the unfair comparision between them and the Browns.  I’d be wary, the feces is undefeated in similar cases involving teams such as the Clippers, Pirates, and even some English soccer team named Aston Villa.

  • Hasselbeck could be a decent mentor for McCoy, since Wallace is nothing but a self absorbed jerkoff!!! heck! Hasselbeck more than likely would beat out McCoy probably anyway, which in return could actually be a blessing in disguise and give Colt the opportunity to do what Holmgren originally wanted to do with him and that’s make him sit on the bench and hold the clipboard like all rookie QB’s should.

  • Keithclh

    Please Please dont come to Cleveland Matt. Stay away and keep your mouthy broad with you !

  • porkchopexpress

    So you tell me why you think I’m wrong, get mad and claim that I made fun of you while explaining why I think I’m right (and why I think you just like to flame post rather than have actual discussion), then you found a purse with some money in it and got too distracted to respond.  Got it,  lets do each other a favor and leave each other be from here on out.

  • Holtgary

    Screw your “bridge!”  I love the photography in SI but the “articles” full of bias, predjudice, misinformation, statements with no consequences? Put your money where your mouths are. As ‘writers’ you are all a bunch of hacks!

  • Holtgary

    Screw your “bridge!”  I love the photography in SI but the “articles” full of bias, predjudice, misinformation, statements with no consequences? Put your money where your mouths are. As ‘writers’ you are all a bunch of hacks!