Oh, the crushing boredom and despair of the lockout... It's reduced us to endlessly debating who will be Seattle's starting quarterback this fall. Given that the lockout will probably drag into at least late June in the best-case scenario, we've still got plenty of time to mull this decision that we have A) no control over and B) has probably already been made.
In any case, here's my current take on the Seahawks' QB scenario...
While I still nurse a crush on Kevin Kolb, it seems unlikely that he will come to Seattle, given the cost in draft picks to acquire him. The same logic applies to Kyle Orton. A lot of the other options out there (Vince Young, McNabb, Bulger, Leinart, etc) would be obvious downgrades from Matt Hasselbeck, so they can be dismissed fairly easily (which also, in my opinion, eliminates Charlie Whitehurst from serious contention to be Seattle's starting QB).
I firmly believe it will come down to either Matt Hasselbeck or Carson Palmer. WILL Palmer come to Seattle? Maybe not. Mike Brown is a moron who might not be able to put aside his ego and get some sort of compensation for a player who has given him almost a decade of service and wants to move on. In another scenario, Cincy might ask too high a price for Palmer- anything more than a 3rd rounder and change wouldn't make any sense from Seattle's perspective. But SHOULD the Seahawks try to get Carson Palmer at the right price? Hell yeah they should.
That might sound like disloyalty from a Matt Hasselbeck fanboy like myself, but the reality is pretty stark: Carson Palmer would give the Seahawks a better chance to be competitive, and for a longer period of time, than you could expect from Matt Hasselbeck. If we cannot land Palmer, Hasselbeck is BY FAR the best plausible "plan B," and I firmly believe that the Seahawks will not be caught unprepared. Don't be a sucker- The front office probably already knows whether they will be able to get Palmer or not, and are (wisely) not going to tip their hands before the lockout ends. Once the NFL year starts, expect either a trade for Palmer or the signing of Hasselbeck to be announced within 24 hours.
So why Palmer over Hasselbeck?
You've heard a lot about how Palmer had a "terrible" 2010 season, right? That "terrible" season saw Palmer throw for 3,970 yards and 26 TDs. That's more yards than Hasselbeck has thrown for in ANY season (though he came close in 2007), and Beck has matched or exceeded 26 TDs only twice in his career (2003 and 2007). Yes, Palmer threw 20 interceptions last year... but Hasselbeck threw 17 while only counter-balancing them with 12 TD passes.
The bottom line? Palmer's "terrible" 2010 season was FAR better than anything we've seen from Hasselbeck since 2007. Yes, Palmer would have to learn a new system and build a rapport with our WR corps (meaning a long lockout dragging into the fall might tip things back in Hasselbeck's favor), but I still see more upside from Palmer at QB than Hasselbeck for the Seahawks.
Some more numbers to chew on: Which QB has a higher career passer rating, completion percentage, and TD percentage? Carson Palmer. Team success is really the only metric where Hasselbeck CLEARLY tops Palmer... But Palmer PLAYS FOR THE FUCKING BENGALS. Can you really put all the blame for that on him? You might say that Palmer is injury-prone... Um, it's not like Hasselbeck is some Brett Favre-esque Iron Man either.
The final, decisive bit of info? Palmer is 4 years younger than Hasselbeck, and is far more likely to keep Seattle competitive in the years after 2011 while the new franchise QB is presumably drafted and groomed to take over (probably in 2013 or '14).
What am I missing, guys? How is acquiring Palmer for a couple mid-round picks NOT the obvious way to go in terms of solving our short-term QB issues? Enlighten me.