I have been following the situation in Tampa Bay pretty closely, and now Rattay is a real possibility. The Luke McCown injury actually helped the situation by forcing Tampa Bay to bring in Jay Fiedler. We hear people throw out names like either of the Huard brothers, Tommy Maddox, and even Vinny Testaverde. I laughed at Vinny, but then was surpised to hear Cleveland is actually considering the 42-year-old. I have also heard Kerry Collins mentioned, but like Jay Fiedler, he wants to be the clear #2 with a possible chance to be the starter. He turned down an $3 million offer from Miami. The only place I could see Collins now is either for the New York Giants again (can they be serious about Rob Johnson?) or maybe the Tennessee Titans. I guess Tim Hasselbeck could become available if the Giants sign Kerry Collins, but he is just not very good.
As for the Seahawks, we are down to only 2 or 3 real possibilities. The ideal candidate must have some starting experience, be good enough to be a reliable backup without any real prospect of starting anywhere and also content that he might never see the field as the third stringer. At this point, Rattay would have more of a chance to play in Seattle than in Tampa Bay. I have discussed Tim Ratty at length, so I will not go into him any further here, except what his contract might entail. To figure out what he might cost, you can look at comparable guys like Sage Rosenfels, Chris Weinke or Craig Nall. The basic going rate for these guys is a 3-year deal for $4 to $4.5 million. That would include a $1 to $1.5 million signing bonus, with base salaries of $600,000, $1.1 million, and $1.3 million. Rattay could be in for a little less since he is not a clear #2. We could possibly get him for something closer to what Mike McMahon signed for in Minnesota. His deal is for a total of $2 million for 2 years, which included a $400,000 signing bonus and $585,000 this year, and then a $300,000 roster bonus and $700,000 base salary next year. So, basically Rattay should be in for a 2-3 year deal at an average of $1-$1.5 million per year including bonuses.
The one player that I also think still exists as a possibility is 7-year veteran Shaun King. He fits in a little differently. He would probably be more of mentor to Seneca Wallace and provide some veteran knowledge (similar to Trent Dilfer). However, King is still only 29. He might not be able to play at the level he did at the start of his career, but then again he has not had a chance to be a regular starter and has only played in fill-in roles since 2001. He did go 15-8 (5-2 as a rookie and then 10-6 in 2000) when he was a regular starter in Tampa Bay, leading the team to an NFC championship game his rookie year and a playoff berth the next year. If Jim Sorgi is healthy when camp begins, then Dungy might be willing to part with King for a 6th or 7th rounder (similar to the Dave Ragone trade). King would be a pretty cheap option as he signed a 1-year $585,000 deal with Indianapolis. He has not done much in the last five years, except spend 3 years learning Jon Gruden's version of the West Coast offense and 2 years in the West Coast offense of Dennis Green. King is not a sexy player, but he has played in 3 playoff games, including a win and an 11-6 loss in the NFC Championship game. He would clearly be happy being a mentor to Seneca Wallace at this point in his career, and could come in if Matt Hasselbeck gets injured and Seneca struggles in his first stint as a starter. King is a good guy and spent last year pursuing charitable endeavors. Eric Mangini was his assistant in Tampa and brought him in (he later let him go after subsequently bringing in both Jon Kitna and Josh McCown), then his former head coach Tony Dungy signed him. Tim Ruskell and Ruston Webster (along with Dungy) are the guys that drafted him in the 2nd round and made him their starting QB, so they know what he is capable of. His career got off track when Dungy left Tampa Bay and Jon Gruden took over. Gruden runs the ship down there, which is what led Ruskell and then Webster to leave. The fact that two of his former coaches have pursued King is pretty telling about how good he might still be able to perform.
I also mentioned Craig Nall as another trade possibility. I am not sure I think of Nall as a real possibility, but when looking around the league, he fits all the criteria. The Bills seem content to take JP Losman, Kelly Holcomb, Craig Nall, and Kliff Klingsbury to camp, and have the 3 top guys battle it out. If Nall ends up being #3, then he might be more of an option for a possible trade next offseason.
King (29), Rattay (29), and Nall (27) are all relatively young and could shore up the quarterback situation in Seattle for the next few years. Seneca Wallace is an unrestricted free agent next year, and either Rattay or Nall could be a serviceable backup to Matt Hasselbeck, especially Rattay if he had this year to learn our system (all three of the guys I have mentioned have West Coast Offense experience). Shaun King would be more of a solid #3 that the team would probably not be comfortable with as our #2 if Seneca bolts in free agency.
With Tim Ruskell and Ruston Webster's ties to Tampa Bay, a deal for Rattay to come to Seattle is more likely to be worked out than with any other team in the league. Dungy might also be more honest with Ruskell and Webster about the availability for King than he would be with other teams. It would not surprise me if Ruskell and/or Webster have had an informal conversation with Tampa Bay about Rattay or Dungy about King. As his former assistant, Mangini probably gave Dungy a heads up when he was getting ready to release King. He was released by Detroit on 5/31 and signed with Indianapolis on 6/2. That is a pretty fast turnaround to bring him in for a workout and come to terms with his agent.