Whitehurst perception did not match reality

Charlie Whitehurst is heading back to the San Diego Chargers from the Seattle Seahawks on a two-year contract.

There are no refunds in the NFL, but if there were, the Seahawks would be entitled to ask for one, with or without a receipt.

Whitehurst attempted only 155 passes for the team after Seattle acquired him from the Chargers for a 2011 third-round pick and a swap of 2010 second-rounders.

Coach Pete Carroll, ever the cheerleader with his public comments, created the impression Seattle had exceedingly high hopes for Whitehurst. But the money Seattle was paying Whitehurst did not match up. The Seahawks did not bet big on him.

That is why the Seahawks never lost sleep over the transaction. They paid much less than Seattle's previous leadership gave up for Matt Hasselbeck. They were not declaring Whitehurst the future of their franchise. The Seahawks figured Whitehurst would provide quarterback depth, with at least a chance of developing into something more.

Whitehurst never came close to beating out Hasselbeck in 2010. The Seahawks gave the job to newcomer Tarvaris Jackson in 2011. They would not have done that, in my view, if they thought Whitehurst had any future as the starter.

Returning to the Chargers in a third-string role, and on only the fourth day of free agency, will not change perceptions Whitehurst was content as a backup. Update: The Chargers subsequently released backup Billy Volek. That means Whitehurst apparently returned to San Diego for the No. 2 job. This becomes a much better move for him.

Seattle made no effort to re-sign him. The team visited with former Green Bay backup Matt Flynn on Friday, but the Seahawks aren't expected to engage the Miami Dolphins in a bidding war, should it come to that.