Yes, the NFL is a business, occasionally ruthless, and certainly impermanent. Tarvaris Jackson could tell you all about that.
But as he heads back to Seattle, presumably to take a physical Thursday and sign with the Seahawks for a second time, Jackson may be benefiting from a little bit of karmic reward.
Once Russell Wilson sprouted from undersized rookie quarterback to starting phenomenon during last training camp, Jackson was traded to Buffalo for a mere seventh-round draft pick.
He was waived by Buffalo this week. And apparently the Seahawks are ready to sign him as a backup to Wilson.
Here’s why: Jackson made an extremely positive impression on his teammates and staff when he was here. He was a team-first guy, he played hurt (to the detriment of his stats), and he kept his mouth shut.
Nice to see a guy get another chance as a result.
Here’s also why: From what I’ve seen from the sideline during OTAs and minicamp, current backup Brady Quinn doesn’t look like an NFL-caliber passer.
He’s new in the offense and learning the players, etc., so maybe he has better in him as he assimilates. He’s supposedly really good in the quarterback room and would be considered a good influence on Wilson.
But he misses receivers too often and doesn’t always throw with strong velocity.
It’s hard to compare quarterbacks’ performances with different teams in varied systems, but Jackson quarterbacked a very
young and unstable Seahawks team in 2011 to seven wins in his 14 starts.
About midway through, he strained a pectoral muscle and missed most of two games. He was never really healthy the rest of the way.
And did he ever take a beating, getting sacked 42 times. He still completed 60 percent of his passes for more than 3,000 yards with 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Quinn has 20 career starts with Cleveland and Kansas City and has barely 3,000 passing yards total (3,043), with 12 TDs and 17 interceptions.
Jackson’s connections here are numerous, but most importantly, he’s played six seasons with Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
If the signing goes as expected, it will be interesting to see whether it ends up being a competition between Jackson and Quinn for the backup role or whether Quinn is thanked for his contributions in the offseason and released.
Neither is a prospect for a long-term role as a starter. Wilson is young and smart and the quarterback for now and well into the future. He’s elusive and durable and managed to play 16 games last season without ever appearing on the injury list.
So you have to ask, who would give the Seahawks the best chance to win a game in the short term — a week or two, let’s say? I’d say Jackson, easily.
Jackson had troubles with a few specific routes — the skinny post, some seam routes. The biggest issue was an inability to get the team into the end zone on crucial drives at the end of games and halves.
Those are real issues for a quarterback competing to be a starter. But for a guy who is a backup heading into the season, that’s pretty light baggage.
Very important to all of this is the relationship Jackson has with Seahawks teammates. Soon after he was picked up as a free agent from Minnesota before the 2011 season, he was voted a team captain. That says a great deal about his attitude and the regard in which he’s held.
Receiver Doug Baldwin was one of the first to tweet his excitement over Jackson’s possible return.
Sidney Rice was a receiver with Jackson in Minnesota as well as Seattle. Wednesday, he talked about the way he “won over the locker room in 2011.” How?
“Just being a professional,” Rice said. “Everybody was sad when he left. He didn’t want to go, but this is another opportunity for him.”
Another unknown is Wilson’s take on this. He’s another team-first guy, but will he be in any way distracted by the reappearance of one of the guys he beat out last year?
Doubt it, but it’s worth making sure you’re doing everything you can to keep Wilson happy.
We’ve heard coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider say a hundred times that they want to stay committed to upgrading the roster talent and the quality of competition at every position, even if it’s somewhere down on the depth chart.
Bringing back Tarvaris Jackson will do exactly that.Dave Boling: 253-597-8440 email@example.com @DaveBoling