Will Hasselbeck return to the Seahawks in 2010?

On Tuesday, new Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll gave quarterback Matt Hasselbeck a vote of confidence, according to Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com.

“I know that we have a quarterback that has played really good football in his career,” Carroll said. “That is one of the key elements of putting together a team that has a chance to win right way. You’ve got to have a quarterback. I know that we have a first-class guy in Matt and I can’t wait to get working with him.

But what does this mean for Hasselbeck?

The former Pro Bowler will turn 35 years-old in September and has been plagued by a variety of injuries in three of his last four seasons. Hasselbeck threw just 17 touchdown passes-with 17 interceptions-in 14 games this year and posted a QB Rating of 75.1-his second lowest rating since 2002.

The veteran signal-caller posted a 57.8 Quarterback Rating in 2008.

In addition, the Seahawks have gone just 9-23 in their last two seasons, which was one of the main reasons behind the decision to oust former head coach Jim Mora after just one year on the job and turn the reigns over to Carroll.

But with a new regime comes change and it won’t be long before Carroll begins the process of putting “his guys” in place.

Think about it. The Seahawks own two first-round selections (No. 6 and No. 14) in this April’s NFL Draft. Carroll just signed a five-year deal to take over a franchise that has been steadily declining since losing the Super Bowl to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006.

How much progress can Carroll expect to make with an aging, oft-injured quarterback who is in the twilight of his career?

The answer: not much.

Carroll gave Hasselbeck an endorsement on Tuesday because that is what he had to do. A new coach can’t take over a team and bad-mouth a quarterback who has had a great deal of success during his nine years in Seattle. The fans wouldn’t like it.

So, Carroll backed Hasselbeck.

Because he needs him.

Carroll needs Hasselbeck to become a mentor to the young-gun the Seahawks are likely to draft in April. He needs him to show the rookie the ropes, the game and the way of life in the NFL.

Essentially, Carroll needs Hasselbeck to become a teacher.

That is, until it’s time for the rookie to step into the lineup and past Hasselbeck on the depth chart. At which point he will become expendable.

And don't forget. There's a guy in Cleveland named Mike Holmgren who could use a quarterback.

Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh

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