With ESPN’s John Clayton reporting on Thursday that the Seattle Seahawks could be interested in securing the services of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson once free agency begins, Tom Pelissero of ESPN 1500 AM in the Twin Cities caught up with the Alabama State product after his regular workout in Minnesota.
Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune also talked with Jackson about joining Seattle.
And Jackson appeared to be open to the idea of joining his former offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell in Seattle.
“Yeah, it seems like a pretty good opportunity,” Jackson told Pelissero. “I know the offense. That’s a plus.”
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The Seahawks offered veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck what they consider a fair offer before the lockout began in March, but Hasselbeck chose not accept the deal and to see what better offers he can get on the open market. Once the players agree to a new CBA and free agency begins next week, Seattle’s offer might not still be on the table.
Pelissero reports, citing a source, that the Seahawks have done their due diligence on Jackson, which includes investigating how he handled the situation the past two years, when he was atop the depth chart early in training camp, only to have veteran Brett Favre arrive and take away the job in mid-August.
Rob Rang, senior draft analyst for NFLDraftScout.com, believes Jackson could be a good fit for Seattle.
“To me what stands out about him is not only the fact that he has been a pretty solid quarterback in the NFL, but I go back to East-West Shrine game and the ball comes off his hand well,” Rang said. “He does have good accuracy, especially in the short to intermediate level. He has the arm to throw the ball deep, and compared to Hasselbeck that would be an area of improvement. And his mobility would be a significant area of improvement over Hasselbeck.
“He’s a player that I thought played pretty well at Minnesota. I think he’s the most intriguing, younger quarterback that is available, especially considering the price. I really like Kevin Kolb, but when you consider cost, Jackson is going to be more reasonably priced.”
Rang went on to say he’s higher on Jackson’s upside than Whitehurst.
Seahawk fans might not be excited about the prospects of Jackson joining Seattle, but the second round pick by the Vikings in 2006 is seen as decent prospect in the NFL scouting community, who possesses the size and arm strength to be a productive quarterback in the league.
But Jackson, 28, had an uneven performance in Minnesota, He finishing 10-10 as a starter , throwing for 3,984 in a six-year NFL career, posting a 58.7 career completion percentage with 24 touchdowns, 22 interceptions and a 76.6 career passer rating. Jackson has served as a back-up two Favre the past, two seasons, finishing 2010 on injured reserve after injuring a foot in December.
Jackson’s looking for another chance to earn a starting job, and likely would be given the opportunity in Seattle to compete with Charlie Whitehurst if the team does not bring back Hasselbeck.
“If free agency would have started in March like it’s supposed to, it would have been a lot different,” Jackson said. “But being that it is so late, you would like to go somewhere you're familiar so you have a chance.
“If I go to a new system that I never played in before now, you’re really learning. You’re learning a new offense and just trying to get familiar with the guys. You’re kind of behind the eight-ball. Being that (Seattle will run) the same system, it’s a good opportunity.”