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Colts extend contract of veteran QB Hasselbeck to back up Luck

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INDIANAPOLIS — Matt Hasselbeck wanted one more shot at a Super Bowl ring.

The Colts are giving him a chance.

One month after losing in the AFC championship game, the 39-year-old quarterback signed a one-year contract extension with the Colts. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately available.

The signing allows Indianapolis to keep the AFC South's best quarterback tandem intact. Over the past two seasons, Hasselbeck has provided his wisdom and perspective for the much younger Andrew Luck. Hasselbeck also played in seven games during that time, completing 37 of 56 passes for 431 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for a 93.7 passer rating.

Late last season, with his contract set to expire, Hasselbeck started getting asked about retirement. At one point, it sounded as if Hasselbeck might be leaning in that direction.

But before the conference title game, Hasselbeck told reporters he wanted to consider his options and thought eventually he would decide to continue playing.

Now that he has, the 16-year NFL veteran hopes to add another chapter to his unusual career.

He started in the league backing up Brett Favre, was traded to Seattle after former Packers coach Mike Holmgren took the Seahawks job. There, he won the starting job, lost it, then regained it and held onto the job long enough to make three Pro Bowl appearances and lead Seattle to the 2005 NFC title.

In 2011, he wound up in Tennessee to solidify the quarterback job. The Titans used three starters — Kerry Collins, Vince Young and Rusty Smith — in 2010.

Hasselbeck was solid, starting 21 games in those two seasons before giving way to Tennessee's then quarterback of the future, Jake Locker.

After the season, Hasselbeck, still in pursuit of a ring, chose to play with the Colts, where he could back up Luck.

Luck has not missed a game since being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft. Luck has led the Colts to three straight playoff appearances, back-to-back division crowns, and has taken Indy one step deeper in the playoffs in each of his pro seasons. If the Colts do that again in 2015, Hasselbeck would finally get a second chance at a Super Bowl title.

Hasselbeck ranks fifth among active quarterbacks in pass attempts, seventh in completions, eighth in yards and 10th in touchdowns through the air.


AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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