Hasselbeck to be Luck insurance in Indy

March, 18, 2013
3/18/13
9:56
PM ET
If the starting quarterbacks in Indianapolis and Tennessee remain healthy, only one of the backups is going to have a shot at playing time.

He won’t be the one behind Andrew Luck with the Colts. So it’s hard to figure why Matt Hasselbeck would have failed to strike a reduced deal with the Tennessee Titans in order to stay and work behind Jake Locker. The pay cut must have been exceedingly severe. Or maybe the Colts are paying their No. 2 quarterback exceptionally well. Or both.

The Titans asked Hasselbeck to trim a $5.5 million base salary and a $7.5 million cap number. When they couldn't find common ground the Titans released him Monday.

I believe Hasselbeck would rather have a chance to play than not, and that chance is far greater for the backup in Nashville. We don’t know yet what sort of money he will be getting from the Colts, but Adam Schefter reports Hasselbeck will be signing with Indianapolis.

He’ll be a great resource and insurance policy for the team.

The Colts were actually the first team I thought of when I learned the Titans were cutting Hasselbeck. Pep Hamilton will be running an offense with a lot of West Coast principles that suit Hasselbeck’s talents.

He’s as good a player at understanding my job and offering thoughtful, insightful answers as anyone I’ve ever covered. So selfishly I’m pleased to learn he will remain in the division.

I know the Colts hope they never use him. He wouldn’t have fit what offensive coordinator Bruce Arians did in Indy last year, but for the offense they’ll run now, Hasselbeck is an upgrade over Drew Stanton. Stanton went to Arizona as a free agent to play for Arians as the head coach. Hasselbeck has far more experience than Stanton, and will have far more to offer Luck.

Even if Hasselbeck doesn’t have a chance to make the Colts look good with the snaps he takes, he can really make the Titans look bad if they have to turn to a lesser backup for Locker during his third year.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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