It's been three seasons since Matt Hasselbeck last played in the NFL, but one team reached out to the ESPN analyst to see if he'd be ready to suit up again as the playoffs neared.
Hasselbeck wouldn't name the team, but the 43-year-old revealed that a "contending team" called him to see "if he was in shape and ready to sign," according to Kevin Clark of The Ringer.
We can only speculate which team that could have been. All six playoff clubs in 2018 were set with great and healthy quarterbacks. Perhaps it was the Washington Redskins? They were in postseason contention up until the final two weeks, and had lost starter Alex Smith and backup Colt McCoy for the season after they each suffered a broken legs.
Either way, Hasselbeck hinted that he wasn't the least bit interested. The former Seattle Seahawks' star brought up why he retired after spending the 2015 season with the Indianapolis Colts - referencing a hit he took from Whitney Mercilus of the Houston Texans.
"I wasn’t eating solid food for a couple of weeks," Hasselbeck said. "They tested me for a concussion. It wasn’t, but I couldn’t hear out of my right ear. I hurt a joint near my ear. So you get rid of those crown-of-the-helmet hits...Those hits get you in a downward spiral. It’s one hit that gets you, and then life is miserable."
A three-time Pro Bowler with the Seahawks, Hasselbeck's career lasted from 1998-2015. He led the team to a Super Bowl XL appearance - where they fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers. In all, Hasselback guided Seattle to the playoffs six times.
He had to play eight games for the Indianapolis Colts in 2015, when starter Andrew Luck went down for the season with a kidney injury. Hasselbeck tossed 1,690 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions in those games.
But given his age and probable rust (having not played in over three years now), it's no surprise that Hasselbeck didn't end up returning to football. He doesn't want to put his body at risk anymore, and Hasselbeck is enjoying his gig as an analyst for ESPN.
What This Means
It would have been adventurous to see Hasselbeck try to get back into the NFL, but it's not known how serious the "contending team" was about signing him. It's always fun to hear tales about retired players being asked to come back, but Hasselbeck simply isn't going to do it.