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Matt Hasselbeck, 43, says NFL playoff contender called him about playing this season

Yahoo! Sports logo Yahoo! Sports 1/18/2019 Jason Owens

a man wearing a suit and tie: Which NFL team would have been desperate enough and incompetent enough to give Matt Hasselbeck a call? (Getty) © Provided by Oath Inc. Which NFL team would have been desperate enough and incompetent enough to give Matt Hasselbeck a call? (Getty) Matt Hasselbeck is 43 years old. The long-time Seattle Seahawks quarterback and 17-year NFL veteran has not set foot on an NFL field since 2015.

He told The Ringer he got a call from “a contending team” this season about returning to the game in a story published Thursday about the trend of successful aging quarterbacks in the NFL.

Those quarterbacks, of course, are 41-year-old Tom Brady and 40-year-old Drew Brees — who will play in Sunday’s conference championship games — along with other veterans like Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberer who are still playing at a high level well into their 30s.

There are some significant differences between Hasselbeck and those other names, most notably that they’re all likely Hall-of-Fame bound. Hasselbeck was a nice player with three Pro Bowls and a long career, but nobody’s mistaking his face for one that belongs in Canton.

Also, he’s older than all of those other quarterbacks and he hasn’t played in three years.

What team would be desperate enough to call Hasselbeck?

Which begs the obvious question. Which NFL “contender” would have been desperate enough to pick up the phone and call a dude well into his retirement to gauge his interest in taking hits from 275-pound pass rushers?

More dysfunction in D.C.?

One team quickly comes to mind. The Washington Redskins. It’s easy to forget not even three weeks past the end of the regular season, but the Redskins led the NFC East for much of the year and weren’t eliminated from playoff contention until Week 16.

That’s a team that could loosely fit the definition of “contender.”

It’s also a team that succinctly fit the definition of desperate. Washington lost starting quarterback Alex Smith to a devastating leg injury then saw backup Colt McCoy suffer his own broken leg.

Anybody but Kaepernick

In their effort to consider any quarterback not named Colin Kaepernick, Washington trotted out Mark Sanchez and Josh Johnson, which proved to be disastrous decisions.

So were they beyond giving a a 43-year-old rusty quarterback a call? It’s not beyond reason, considering their other moves to replace Smith.

Of course, it’s completely unreasonable when looking at the situation objectively. Finding effective NFL quarterbacks is a tough business, but desperately reaching for Hasselbeck would have been a ridiculous move.

Other teams that might have called

Who else might have considered calling Hasselbeck?

The Tennessee Titans, perhaps. They entered their Week 17 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts with Marcus Mariota injured and a chance to make the playoffs. They lost that game handily with Blaine Gabbert under center.

The teams that made the playoff mostly did so with intact quarterback situations, a general prerequisite for making the postseason.

Would the Eagles have called Hasselbeck to back up Nick Foles after Carson Wentz went down? How about the Bears, as they were forced to look to Chase Daniel in the regular season stretch with Mitchell Trubisky ailing? It seems unlikely.

Which brings us back to our original guess.

If Hasselbeck was being up front about his call from an NFL “contender,” one team was desperate enough and incompetent enough to stand out above the rest as the most likely candidate.

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