Hasselbeck referred to the move as a “no brainer.”
Veteran QB Matthew Hasselbeck announced his retirement from the NFL on Friday after 18 seasons. He’ll be taking a job with ESPN as a NFL analyst.
“As a kid, playing in the NFL was always my dream and it turned out to be way more fun than I could’ve ever imagined,” said Hasselbeck. “Throughout 18 incredible seasons, I had the chance to forge many relationships with teammates, coaches and staff that I will cherish forever. Those relationships made my playing career all the more memorable. With the support of my family, we’ve made the decision to embark on the next chapter. I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity to have represented the NFL and so many great teams.”
According to McIntyre, ESPN and Hasselbeck were deep in negotiations with ESPN Tuesday night, even though there was some talk that he may want to play another season.
McIntyre adds that Hasselbeck could make announcement as soon as Wednesday.
As for Ditka, McIntyre mentions that he is not leaving ESPN, but just departing Countdown.
Hasselbeck, 40, will be an unrestricted free agent once the market officially opens on Wednesday. However, the Colts announced that he would not be returning for the 2016 season, so he would have had to find another opportunity.
In 2015, Hasselbeck appeared in eight games and threw for 1,690 yards while completing 60.9 percent of his passes to go along with nine touchdowns and five interceptions. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 24 quarterback out of 37 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding Hasselbeck’s future as the news is available.