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Hasselbeck Turned Down Bears For Packers’ Practice Squad

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Matt Hasselbeck on the Packers in 1999. (Tom Hauck/Allsport)

Matt Hasselbeck on the Packers in 1999. (Tom Hauck/Allsport)

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(CBS) Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck revealed on Pro Football Talk Live Monday that in 1998 he turned down the chance to be the Bears’ starting quarterback in favor of staying on the Packers’ practice squad.

“Late in the year, the Chicago Bears were trying to sign me to start for them,” Hasselbeck told Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. “They had all three of their quarterbacks get hurt and they tried to sign me to start for them. I would have been playing the Packers twice in that month and I was going up against their defense every day in practice.”

So why did Hasselbeck make the crazy decision to stay on the Packers’ practice squad for a lot less money?

“I just got the sense that the Packers organization had some continuity, some stability at the time, and they really knew how to coach the quarterback at the time,” he said. “The Bears were a team in flux, wasn’t even sure if the coach was going to be there the next season. And really, I knew all about the Packers-Bears rivalry and I knew better than to pull a Babe Ruth and go to the enemy. So I’m glad I made the decision I made and stayed on the practice squad those last four games. It was the right decision.”

Ouch.

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