The writing has been on the wall for some time, but it now appears clear that the madness behind coach Pete Carroll's decisions regarding Seattle Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has an end solution.
According to multiple reports, the Seahawks are actively looking to deal Jackson at some point during this preseason. Such a move is exactly what Seattle needs to be doing with its quarterback situation after a somewhat confusing preseason.
Jason La Canfora of CBS first reported Tuesday night that Jackson was on the trade block, barring an unforeseen injury to either Matt Flynn or Russell Wilson in the coming days or weeks.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk also reported Wednesday that the Seahawks are in the process of trying to move Jackson before the start of the 2012 season.
A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that the Seahawks are talking to a couple of teams about trading Jackson, and that a deal could happen. But the Seahawks prefer to wait for one or more teams to suffer a quarterback injury during the preseason, which would help them get a better deal in return.
Jackson, the Seahawks' 15-game starter from 2011, was originally thought to be a part of the team's three-way quarterback battle during camp. Last season, Jackson threw for 3,091 yards, 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions for the 7-9 Seahawks, but the team gave Flynn $10 million guaranteed in free agency and drafted Wilson in the third round.
While Jackson has received a number of days with the team's first-team offense, including Tuesday's practice, the veteran didn't play in Seattle's preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans and may not play again Saturday against the Denver Broncos. Flynn started and played the entire first half before giving way to Wilson in the second.
Furthermore, Florio wrote Wednesday that Jackson was "never a serious contender to start in 2012."
Per the source, Jackson was never a serious contender to start in 2012. They called it an open competition after signing Matt Flynn, and they wisely gave Jackson the first crack with the first team, given that the incumbent has many friends and supporters in the locker room (including receiver Sidney Rice). As time has passed and Flynn has gotten acclimated, the Seahawks have faded Jackson toward the back of the pack.
One reason for Carroll continuing to give Jackson first-team reps while holding him out of games is the potential for Jackson to get hurt, which would all but kill his trade value. A team with question marks at the position—such as Arizona, Miami or Philadelphia—wouldn't think twice about pursuing an injured quarterback.
But here's the other kicker for the Seahawks to deal with: Teams aren't going to spend a draft pick on a player they think Seattle is going to eventually release. That could explain why Carroll continues to give Jackson first-team reps.
Still, teams know that the Seahawks aren't going to pay a third-string quarterback—what Jackson is currently—$4 million to be an emergency player who rarely even suits up. If no trade partner surfaces, it's very likely the Seahawks do cut Jackson before the 2012 regular season.
While it's understandable that the Seahawks would want to wait as long as possible to deal Jackson to the highest bidder—assuming there is one—Seattle runs the risk of losing the quarterback for nothing if it holds out too long.
Jackson's situation is an interesting game of cat and mouse for GM John Schneider. Certainly, he hopes he can get some kind of return on a quarterback neither he nor Carroll want on the roster to start 2012.