The Tennessee Titans announced today that veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck had been released. The 37 year old played two years with the Titans, compiling 25 touchdowns and 19 interceptions in 24 total games played. With young prospect Jake Locker taking the starting role on full time last year, Tennessee didn’t see a need to keep Hasselbeck in uniform.
The Chicago Bears have some thinking to do as far as their backup position is concerned. The younger Jason Campbell didn’t fair too well playing in six games last year, throwing two touchdowns and two interceptions, fumbling the ball twice, and finishing with a 72.8 quarterback rating. Campbell is also a free agent.
While Campbell is five years younger at 32 years old, it may be worth a shot looking at Hasselbeck. Even at his age, Hasselbeck may be able to come in and spell starting quarterback Jay Cutler if he goes down with another injury again. He’s a veteran who can still make plays and has a keen football knowledge after being around as long as he has.
Whatever the Bears decide to do, they better pray to the football gods that their backup doesn’t have to set foot on that field unless Chicago is up by five touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Cutler has had trouble playing a full season the last two years, and it would be great for the Bears’ offense if he stayed healthy all season.
If their backup plan indeed steps on the field at any point in time, they should have an easier time putting points on the board with so many playmakers on offense in wide receiver Brandon Marshall, tailback Matt Forte, and newly signed Martellus Bennett, the athletic tight end coming over from the New York Giants. Not to mention, new head coach Marc Trestman has made it a priority to protect his quarterback and may not be done adding new faces to that offensive line after inking Pro Bowl tackle Jermon Bushrod to a deal last week.
In any event, the Bears have proved that a backup quarterback can be the opposite of a difference maker in recent years and need to make sure they have insurance for Cutler. Either Campbell or Hasselbeck should be viable options in this case, but once again Chicago, you better hope they never have to see the field.