When any given NFL team is struggling, particularly on offense, there's a saying that goes something like, "every fan's favorite player is the backup quarterback." The most important position in the most popular sport in America is bound to get a lot of attention, and naturally also bound to create a lot of controversy.
As Seahawks fans, people in Seattle are now very used to these quarterback controversies over the last couple of seasons as the team is in 'get younger' mode, with no clear 'franchise QB'. Going into the 2011 season, Matt Hasselbeck was a free agent and though a great many fans disagreed with the decision, the Seahawks decided to move on without the wily vet. Instead, they signed Tarvaris Jackson and anointed him starter. Matt went on to play in Tennessee, but was unable to escape controversy there either.
This offseason, the Seahawks signed Matt Flynn and drafted Russell Wilson to compete at QB. The Titans expect a close battle between Hasselbeck and northwest legend Jake Locker for who emerges as starter, so local fans can now now have a stake in two teams' battles, and it's just beginning.
SBNation.com's Joel Thorman weighed in on the two situations:
Tennessee Titans: Jake Locker vs. Matt Hasselbeck
Hasselbeck has to be viewed as the favorite at this point. The Titans are truly looking at the best option, despite Locker being a 1st round draft pick last year. That means if Hasselbeck is the better quarterback in the offseason, he will be the starter.
By many accounts, Hasselbeck has the edge. The Titans believe they are playoff-ready right now and Hasselbeck is the quarterback with the experience to get it done.
If Tennessee struggles, expect Locker to make an appearance sometime during the season.
Seattle Seahawks: Matt Flynn vs. Russell Wilson vs. Tarvaris Jackson
The three-headed monster in Seattle should be Flynn's to lose considering he signed a multi-year free agent deal with the Seahawks in the offseason. But reports out of the Seahawks OTAs indicate this will be a true competition, with no favorite.
Jackson is the six-year veteran who went 7-7 in 14 starts last season. He completed over 60 percent of his passes with 14 touchdowns to 13 interceptions. He wouldn't be the worst option at quarterback, but you kind of know what you have with him.
Wilson is the rookie, a third round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. He may be a little raw but he was highly productive in college with at least 28 touchdown passes in each of his final three college seasons. He also played in two different college systems, which shows his ability to adapt to a new offense.
And then there's Flynn, the top free agent quarterback this offseason (besides, uh, that Peyton Manning guy). He signed a three-year contract that will pay him an average of $8 million per year.
Head over to Thorman's piece to find out who we predicts will emerge from each competition, plus find analysis on a few other teams' impending camp battles.
For more on the Seahawks, make sure you head to Field Gulls and join in on the discussion.