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Hasselbeck strikes a deal with Tennessee

New Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck will serve as a mentor to rookie Jake Locker. New Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck will serve as a mentor to rookie Jake Locker. (File/Associated Press)
Associated Press / July 28, 2011

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The Titans yesterday reached a deal with quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, according to a person familiar with the agreement.

Hasselbeck, the former Boston College standout, spent the past 10 seasons with the Seahawks, and the Titans are hoping he can bring stability to the position and work with rookie Jake Locker, the No. 8 overall draft pick.

Veteran Kerry Collins retired three weeks ago, and the Titans plan to trade or release Vince Young before training camp opens tomorrow.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced. ESPN.com first reported the agreement, which was reached yesterday morning.

Free agents aren’t allowed to sign contracts until tomorrow, and terms of the 35-year-old Hasselbeck’s agreement were not immediately available.

The Seahawks reached a deal Tuesday with quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, a clear sign they were moving on without Hasselbeck. Back in January, coach Pete Carroll pronounced that re-signing Hasselbeck was Seattle’s No. 1 priority, but the sides could not reach an agreement before the 4 1/2-month NFL lockout.

During the 2010 season, Hasselbeck played in 14 games, throwing for 3,001 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions while completing 59.9 percent of his passes. Originally drafted by the Packers in the sixth round of the 1998 draft, the three-time Pro Bowl selection has 29,579 yards passing, 176 touchdowns, and 128 interceptions while completing 60.1 percent of his passes in 12 seasons.

Orton on the move? Kyle Orton’s still a Bronco. For how long is anybody’s guess. Denver is shopping around to see if it can find a trade partner for the QB, and the Dolphins might prove the best fit. Orton is due $8.29 million this season and doesn’t want to be a backup. While the Broncos have said Orton is their returning starter, the veteran QB apparently feels Tim Tebow’s promotion is a foregone conclusion. Orton has started the last two seasons in Denver, posting career-best passing numbers to go with 41 TD throws and 21 interceptions. Orton, whom former coach Josh McDaniels obtained in the Jay Cutler trade two years ago, reported for a physical and new coach John Fox’s first team meeting. The first practice is today. Orton declined to comment to reporters as he left the facility about 1 p.m. and again when he returned three hours later for the team meeting.

Vinatieri stays put Kicker Adam Vinatieri and safety Melvin Bullitt agreed to three-year deals to stay with the Colts. Details of the deals were not immediately available. Vinatieri’s agent, Gary Uberstine, confirmed the move in an e-mail to the AP, and Bullitt took to the local airwaves to confirm his deal. “It was ‘Let’s get this done, let’s move past it, let’s get ready for the season,’ ’’ he told radio station 1070 The Fan. The 38-year-old Vinatieri is one of seven players in league history to score 500 or more points for two teams (Patriots, Colts). He is headed into his 15th NFL season. Still, the team’s biggest concern - a new long-term contract for four-time MVP Peyton Manning - has not been resolved. Team owner Jim Irsay repeatedly has promised to make Manning the highest-paid player in league history.

All Charged up Chargers coach Norv Turner said Eric Weddle is on the verge of becoming an elite safety in the NFL. The 26-year-old Weddle will be paid like one after agreeing on a five-year, $40 million deal with San Diego. The pact guarantees Weddle $19 million. He is due $14 million this year, including a $13 million signing bonus . . . The Bengals have reached an agreement with QB Bruce Gradkowski, who knows Cincinnati’s new offensive system and will help develop rookie Andy Dalton. The 28-year-old was in Tampa from 2008-09 with Jay Gruden, who was hired as the Bengals’ offensive coordinator in February . . . A person with knowledge of the situation said the Browns will release QB Jake Delhomme today. Delhomme, 36, was scheduled to make $5.4 million in base salary. His career rating sits at 81.2, and though he’s thrown for 20,764 yards and 125 touchdowns, he’s also been intercepted 101 times and has been sacked 166 times. . . . The Bills agreed to a three-year contract with free agent QB Tyler Thigpen. The 27-year-old played the last two seasons with the Dolphins . . . The Texans agreed to terms with backup QB Matt Leinart. “I am excited to be a Texan,’’ Leinart wrote on Twitter. “Ultimately, I had to do what was best for me at this point. People can question the decision, but it was the right one for me.’’

Taylor extends stay Cornerback Ike Taylor confirmed a new deal with the Steelers on his Twitter page yesterday, 24 hours before the team begins training camp. No details were announced and Taylor thanked coach Mike Tomlin, the Rooney family, and his agent for allowing the deal to get done before camp opened . . . The Jaguars announced they have agreed to a six-year, $45 million deal with ex-Bills linebacker Paul Posluszny. The deal calls for $15 million guaranteed. “I want to be the leader of the defense,’’ Posluszny said.

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