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Matt Hasselbeck Retires, Joins ESPN

Quarterback played 18 NFL seasons, the last three for the Colts.

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck retired Wednesday after 18 NFL seasons and will become an NFL analyst for ESPN, the network announced.

The 40-year-old passer, whose best days were in Seattle with one Super Bowl appearance, spent the last three seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. He also played for Green Bay and Tennessee.

Even at his “seasoned” age, Hasselbeck proved he could still perform at a high level last season. He went 5-3 as a replacement for the injured Andrew Luck, although he suffered numerous injuries and was repeatedly sidelined. A shoulder injury in Week 16 at Miami finally ended his season.

He completed 156-of-256 passes for 1,690 yards with nine touchdowns and five interceptions last season. His 209-game career concludes with 36,638 yards, 212 touchdowns and 153 interceptions.

Although he sounded undecided about if he would continue to play when 2015 ended, the Colts recently informed him he would not be re-signed. That his retirement decision came on the first day of free agency suggests interest was minimal on the open market. And then again, maybe his old body had sustained enough punishment.

One of the more media-friendly players in the locker room, Hasselbeck has been a TV analyst before, most recently for NFL on FOX during a Colts bye weekend two years ago. His experience and conversational persona should make for interesting viewing.

His brother, Tim, also works for ESPN. Matt Hasselbeck will replace Mike Ditka on Sunday NFL Countdown as well as Monday Night Countdown.

Phillip B. Wilson also can be found on Facebook and Google+.

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