Trent Dilfer to Seattle

Buckle your seatbelt. The Seahawks will sign a fifth quarterback to their roster. ESPN reported Thursday night and now league and team officials have confirmed a one-year deal will be signed as early as today with quarterback Trent Dilfer. Former Green Bay backup Matt Hasselbeck, who was traded to Seattle in March, is still projected as the starter. The move leaves ex-Husky Brock Huard ...

sixth rounder Josh Booty and last year's third stringer Travis Brown, to compete for the No. 3 job.

Dilfer replaced Tony Banks last season and led the Baltimore Ravens to a win over the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. Despite helping to lead his team to the big dance, Dilfer's numbers were marginal. He threw 12 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, went 134 of 226 for 1,502 yards, and was released by the Ravens at the end of the season. He was also interested in playing for the Colts or Broncos and has been talking with the Seahawks since June.

Head coach and general manager Mike Holmgren was interested in Dilfer last season but when he signed with Baltimore, Holmgren stuck with Jon Kitna, who was not offered a contract when he entered free agency in March. Kitna is currently penciled in as Cincinnati's first stringer. Huard replaced Kitna as the starter in 2000 but played in only four games while suffering a concussion and bruised kidney.



Dilfer's signing points to a trend in the NFL over the past several years of coaches favoring experienced backups over younger players. Because of Huard's limited play last season, Holmgren expressed concern about the former Washington star's ability to stay healthy. There simply wasn't enough time to evaluate Huard's performance and know if he could be the starter this year, according to Holmgren.



Enter 2001, where Huard could have another year to listen and learn, this time from a quarterback with a Super Bowl ring.

Dilfer, 29, from Fresno State, was drafted sixth overall by Tampa Bay in 1994 and named to the Pro Bowl in 1997. He suffered a season-ending injury in 1999 when the Bucs beat the Seahawks in the Kingdome. On the play, Dilfer was tackled behind the line of scrimmage and Seahawk linebacker Chad Brown was nearby. Brown leaned over to Dilfer as he remained on the ground after the play, then looked toward the Tampa Bay sideline and waved his arm for the trainers to come onto the field.

"I could hear something pop, so I knew it was serious," Brown told SeahawksInsider after the game, describing the play in which Dilfer broke his collar bone. Rookie Shaun King replaced Dilfer and played well enough to keep the starting job for the second half of the season. Last year, when Bucs head coach Tony Dungy decided to stay with King as the starter, Dilfer signed with Baltimore, as the backup to Tony Banks.

The season is long and you never know how things will turn out. Right now though, the Seahawks are ready to sign a fifth quarterback. We'll see if Dilfer can help ignite that Super Bowl spark.

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