The Tennessee Titans have reportedly signed free agent quarterback Matt Hasselbeck to a multi-year deal, and they are expected to officially release Vince Young on Thursday after a long and messy falling-out with their former first-round pick. For the Indianapolis Colts and their fans, this is all bad news, as these developments potentially set the wheels in motion for bringing the Titans back to respectability and more.
Barring injury, Hasselbeck will be the Titans’ starting quarterback this season, and maybe beyond. He brings with him a solid pedigree that includes 131 career starts, an overall winning record and a Super Bowl appearance with the Seattle Seahawks in 2006. He won’t be spectacular, but he should ably guide an offense that also features superback Chris Johnson. Hasselbeck’s real role, and his true value, will be as mentor to Jake Locker, the Titans’ first-round selection (eighth overall) this spring. Locker is generally picked as having perhaps the highest ceiling among QBs from this year’s draft and panned for being raw and needing some seasoning. The unassuming Hasselbeck should provide Tennessee with a chance to pick up some wins while also grooming Locker for the future.
If you’re wondering what the Titans’ QBs have to do with the Colts, I’ll tell you after the jump.
That all sounds really good, if you’re a Titans fan, but it just puts another solid obstacle in front of the Colts in the next few years, particularly as Locker matures and Peyton Manning continues to age. Already, the Texans look like they could compete this year (but then, they always do), and the AFC South could be pretty tough in a couple of seasons. The Colts will find it harder than ever just to get into the playoffs.
For now, I’m hoping to wake up in the morning to news that Bud Adams has had a change of heart and inked Vince Young to a big, new contract that will keep him in town for at least as long as Manning remains active. That would pretty much guarantee a couple of wins per year for the Colts.
Hey, it’s free agent season … everyone can dream a little!