Charlie Whitehurst, Heir Presumptive


After the disaster in St. Louis, a lot of fans would like to see Charlie Whitehurst on the field a lot more.

Matt Hasselbeck, the current starting quarterback, has been mostly ineffective through the first quarter of the season. At 35 years old and with a contract that expires at the end of the season, critics will point out that Hasselbeck is obviously not a part of the team’s future. With Hasselbeck on the field, it could be argued the team’s long-term growth is inhibited.

Regardless of your opinion, Matt Hasselbeck is still the starting quarterback. But I’m still glad Charlie Whitehurst is a part of the football team.

No matter how good or bad Whitehurst may end up, it is hard to argue his potential. He possesses excellent size, mobility, and a strong arm. As a football prospect, his tangible assets are superb.

Whitehurst’s intangibles are difficult to assess, but I’m happy his potential is in Seattle.

Before the Seahawks traded for Whitehurst, they were competing against other franchises for his services. One of the teams also interested in Whitehurst was the Arizona Cardinals.

The Cardinals, who played in Super Bowl not even two years ago, had just lost Kurt Warner to retirement. Unsure about the future of former first-round pick Matt Leinart, Arizona was exploring different options at quarterback.

When the Seahawks pulled the trigger and acquired Charlie Whitehurst, most fans questioned the decision. The consensus was that Seattle overpaid for an unproven quarterback, sending a second- and third-round picks to San Diego for a player tendered at the third-round level.

What fans don’t know, however, is what the market was for Charlie Whitehurst. And four weeks into the season, it is obvious that other teams, including the Arizona Cardinals, were probably hoping to land him as well.

After Whitehurst signed a contract with the Seahawks, the Cardinals moved on. Instead of bringing in an unproven quarterback with loads of potential, they acquired free agent Derek Anderson, who had been moderately successful but eventually lost his job in Cleveland.

Anderson came to Arizona to compete with Matt Leinart, who was ultimately released before the season started. Named the starter and heir-apparent to Kurt Warner, Anderson had large shoes to fill in the desert.

Despite having tons of weapons around him, it is hard to argue Kurt Warner’s talent. In his final two years with Arizona, Warner averaged 4,168 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions per season.

Through four games this season, Derek Anderson is on pace to throw for only 2,576 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 20 interceptions. That is, of course, assuming he starts every game and isn’t replaced by one of Arizona’s other quarterbacks.

Without a capable quarterback, the Arizona Cardinals are 2-2 and looking more incompetent than ever. The hopeless Cardinals, the winless 49ers, and the inexperienced Rams make for a weak division that even Seattle can compete in.

It is uncertain whether Charlie Whitehurst will ever develop into a good starting quarterback in the National Football League. But right now, his potential is greater than anything throwing the football in Arizona.

The Seahawks may have overpaid to obtain Whitehurst, but if it means the Cardinals won’t have a competent starting quarterback anytime soon, it was worth it.

Shaun Dolence:
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