Tarvaris Jackson’s Top 5 Potential Suitors
The Seattle Seahawks are having an open competition for who will be their starting quarterback, despite signing Matt Flynn to a fairly lucrative contract this offseason. But one guy has apparently left the mix, as rumors suggest the team is trying to trade Tarvaris Jackson before the season starts.
Any team looking to upgrade their backup quarterback situation may have some interest in Jackson, as he has started 14 games for the Seahawks in 2011 and has started 34 games during his six NFL seasons and has more experience than most available options at this point. The fact two teams have been intent on replacing him now has to be a red flag, and his scheduled $4 million salary for 2012 may lead to teams waiting for him to be released rather than give up anything in a trade.
Assuming Jackson finds a new team for 2012, here are five teams I feel could have interest in bringing him aboard:
1. Green Bay Packers
The Packers lack a proven backup behind Aaron Rodgers, with Graham Harrell and rookie B.J. Coleman currently No. 2 and No. 3 on the depth chart. Their offensive system is similar to what Jackson ran in both Minnesota and Seattle under offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, so there should be a short learning curve if he is brought in at this late stage. It has to be assumed the Green Bay front office will not give the Seahawks anything in a trade, if Jackson is released and they can name their price they could have significant interest.
2. Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia themselves lack a proven backup behind an injury-prone Michael Vick, and immediate backup Mike Kafka is currently sidelined with a broken non-throwing hand. Rookie Nick Foles and veteran Trent Edwards are also currently in the quarterback mix for the Eagles, but it could be argued Jackson has more experience than Foles as well as more physical upside than Edwards. The Eagles’ may do their homework on Jackson, and maybe already have, but once again as with the Packers it should be considered unlikely they are willing to make a trade for him.
3. St. Louis Rams
The Rams have little upside behind Sam Bradford, with Kellen Clemens currently in place as the No. 2 quarterback. Given Bradford’s recurring ankle injury last season that limited his effectiveness and with reports he will need surgery to repair it after this season, this may become an urgent situation in need of an upgrade if Bradford can’t make it through this season. If nothing else St. Louis got a close look at Jackson playing in the same division last season, so if they have no interest in pursuing him at all the rest of the league may take note.
4. Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton is firmly in place as Carolina’s quarterback of the present and future, but their backup situation is not great with Derek Anderson and Jimmy Clausen behind him on the depth chart. Jackson can be classified as an upgrade over both guys, at least from a physical standpoint, and his overall proficiency as an NFL quarterback is likely comparable. The Panthers are yet another team that may wait for Jackson to be released before showing any interest.
5. Cleveland Browns
If the Browns are able to trade Colt McCoy prior to the start of the season, one of the previously mentioned suitors may be taken off the board. But that would also open up the backup quarterback job in Cleveland and Jackson could re-unite with Browns’ offensive coordinator Brad Childress, who was the Minnesota Vikings’ head coach when that team drafted Jackson in 2006. Childress will almost certainly think he can get the most out of Jackson, and with rookie Brandon Weeden in place as the starter playing time could be had if Weeden struggles a lot or is injured.
By this point we know what Jackson is capable of, for better or worse, and certainly front offices around the league are well aware of him too. Any team willing to give Seattle anything in a trade with what he is slated to make this season would be considered foolish, so it’s a better bet he gets released and then interested teams can determine how much they’re willing to pay him.