The New York Giants, who have been seeking to bolster their quarterback depth chart since Jim Miller underwent hip surgery two weeks ago, acquired a potential challenger for the No. 2 spot behind starter Eli Manning on Monday, when they were awarded Tim Hasselbeck on waivers.
Hasselbeck, 27, had been released by the Washington Redskins late last week. It was not immediately known if any other teams had submitted a waiver claim on him. Hasselbeck became expendable in Washington when the Redskins invested a first-round choice on Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell in this year's draft.
"We got very fortunate that this young quarterback became available just when we need one," said Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi. "We're fortunate, especially since we had to wait out the waivers. We are pleased to have him."
Miller, the 10-year veteran who was signed in March to serve as Manning's tutor, will miss 3-4 months following surgery to repair a torn hip labrum. In the wake of Miller's surgery, the Giants made an offer to 42-year-old Doug Flutie, but the veteran instead opted to sign with the New England Patriots.
It is not yet known how the acquisition of Hasselbeck, the younger brother of Seattle Seahawks starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, will affect Miller's status. New York officials said last week that, for the time being, they would retain Miller and monitor his rehabilitation. The team could place Miller on the non-football injury list or even reach an injury settlement with him.
Besides Manning and Miller, the Giants' quarterback depth chart also includes three-year veteran Jesse Palmer and first-year pro Jared Lorenzen. It is unlikely that the Giants will take five quarterbacks to training camp.
It was speculated, after the Redskins drafted Campbell, that Hasselbeck might not make it to training camp, given that he rated no better than fourth in team's quarterback pecking order. Actually, the Redskins did Hasselbeck a favor with the timing of the release, since there was still time for him to secure a job well before the opening of training camps.
"This situation is better than the one [in Washington]," Hasselbeck acknowledged on Monday evening. "I just want to come in and work hard and learn as much as I can and we'll see what happens."
As a restricted free agent in Washington, he had signed the one-year qualifying offer of $656,000 that the Redskins made him earlier in the offseason. The Giants now inherit that one-year contract.
Hasselbeck, 27, has played in only nine games, but started five contests in 2003 when the Redskins were beset by injuries at the position. He has completed 95 of 177 passes for 1,012 yards, with five touchdown passes, seven interceptions and a passer rating of 63.6. He is regarded as an outstanding athlete with a good arm.
The former Boston College standout originally entered the league with the Buffalo Bills in 2001 as an undrafted free agent, but was released before camp and then cut by the Baltimore Ravens later that year. He spent some time in Carolina and Philadelphia before signing with the Redskins in 2003.
"Tim is extremely athletic and plays with great enthusiasm," Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said. "He is a team guy all the way. He is a vibrant, enthusiastic young man and he has taken advantage of his opportunities when called upon."
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here.