Matt Hasselbeck Retires, Joins ESPN For 2016

Intro: Matt Hasselbeck has always been a media favorite and now the football world will get to experience his knowledge and wit on ESPN in 2016.

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INDIANAPOLIS – The NFL earpiece for Matt Hasselbeck isn't going to be worn anymore.

Instead, the ESPN earpiece will be popped into Hasselbeck's ear each Sunday for the upcoming NFL season.

The next chapter in Hasselbeck's life will take him to ESPN, where he will appear on NFL Sunday Countdown and travel to the Monday Night Football sites for the network in 2016.

"I hope to bring the insight and behind the scenes knowledge I've picked up over 18 years as a quarterback in the NFL," Hasselbeck said on Wednesday morning.

"I think there's a lot of things behind the scenes that fans don't necessarily know about and I'm looking forward to sharing those things and sharing my opinion and insights. It should be fun."

Combine Hasselbeck's vast knowledge with his quick wit (his locker always drew a crowd in the Colts' locker room) and it's easy to see why multiple networks inquired about his plans post football.

While weighing the decision to play a 19th NFL season, another network reached out to Hasselbeck about a future in television.

Mulling over whether or not to keep playing ended once ESPN came calling.

"ESPN basically jumped in and made me an offer that was really going to be difficult to say no to," Hasselbeck said.

In addition to Hasselbeck's main role during the season, he will also make various appearances on NFL Live (airs weekdays at 4:00 p.m. EST).

Hasselbeck's family ties to football and television are extensive.

His father, Don, played in the NFL from 1977-85.

Tim Hasselbeck, Matt's brother, also played in the NFL (2000-07) and currently works as an analyst for ESPN.

Two seasons ago, Matt got a taste of what it was like to dabble in television.

During the Colts' 2014 bye week, Hasselbeck worked for FOX in calling the Arizona/St. Louis game.

"I had so much fun doing it," Hasselbeck says of the experience.

"The thing that I loved most about it was it reminded me of a huddle. It reminded me of the teamwork that goes into just executing a single play. I'm used to having a coach talk in my helmet and when I was calling the game, I had my producer in my ear talking me through the game. I love the teamwork of it and it reminded me of playing the game, but just a little more actually. I was probably more nervous to call that game then I was to ever play in a football game."

The plan was for Hasselbeck to call another game in 2015, but some pretty significant circumstances with his profession didn't allow for that.

Andrew Luck's injury in the Colts' win over Denver kept Hasselbeck away from the television audience.

Hasselbeck knew where he was needed when Chuck Pagano called the quarterback to inform him of Luck's injury.

"I was going to call Carolina versus Tennessee," Hasselbeck said of his 2015 bye week plans. "(I) got a call from Chuck Pagano saying Andrew is injured.

"I said, 'Chuck, how would you feel about me calling the Carolina versus Tennessee game this weekend during our bye week.' I just got silence on the other end. That was the answer. I knew it was probably smarter to recharge my batteries and get some rest because he was really going to need me. I'm glad I did because I needed every bit of that to finish up the season."

The Colts relied on Hasselbeck for eight starts in 2015 and the 40-year-old kept the team in the thick of the AFC South race, while playing through multiple injuries.

An 18th season was finished up and Hasselbeck went out like the professional he was throughout his four stops in the NFL.

Now, with the World Wide Leader in sports, Hasselbeck can entertain the entire football world.

"Matthew has been on our radar for many years and we expect him to have an immediate impact as he transitions from the playing field to a marquee analyst role on our signature NFL shows," Seth Markman, ESPN's senior coordinating producer, NFL studio shows said in an ESPN release. "Matthew experienced it all in his 18 NFL seasons, he has terrific insights on the game and a great sense of humor, and we are particularly excited to pair him with Tim, who already does such excellent work for us."

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