Breaking Down What Tarvaris Jackson Could Bring to an NFL Team

Zach Kruse@@zachkruse2Senior Analyst IAugust 16, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson #7 of the Seattle Seahawks throws a pass during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defeated the Seahawks 23-20 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Despite clamoring for most of training camp that a three-way quarterback competition was ongoing, it appears the Seattle Seahawks are ready to move on from their most experienced signal caller of the bunch.

According to several reports, the Seahawks are looking into a trade for veteran quarterback Tarvaris Jackson at some point this preseason. 

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports first reported that Seattle was shopping Jackson on the trade block Tuesday.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk corroborated that report a day later, citing sources that said the Seahawks are talking to a "couple of teams" and that a trade "could happen." PFT also reported that Jackson was never a serious candidate to start for Seattle in 2012, despite signing a $8 million deal last summer and then starting 14 games in 2011. 

Jackson does not represent a highly attractive option on the trade block, but there are teams that could use another quarterback in their current backup situations. The compensation back from Jackson would likely be small, too. 

What would an NFL team be getting in Jackson, a seventh-year quarterback who has started at least 10 games for two different franchises?

We dig into that question below. 


Starting Experience

In six NFL seasons, Jackson has started 34 games and made an appearance in 53 games. Any NFL team acquiring Jackson would be getting a quarterback who is experienced at this level. 

Jackson made 19 starts for the Minnesota Vikings from 2006-10, including 12 in 2007 and another five in '08. Jackson's best season in Minnesota came in '08, when he threw for 1,056 yards, nine touchdowns and just two interceptions in nine total games. 

A year later, however, the Vikings brought in Brett Favre, and Jackson's starting tenure was over in Minnesota. He started just one game the next two years. 

Jackson then signed a two-year, $8 million deal with the Seahawks last summer, and he went on start 14 games for Seattle. In 15 total appearances, Jackson finished with career highs in completions (271), yards (3,091) and touchdowns (14). He played a majority of the season with a torn pectoral muscle, which limited his effectiveness late in the season. 

A team like Arizona, who could possibly cut Kevin Kolb if John Skelton wins the starting job, could think about bringing in an experienced player to solidify the backup role. Philadelphia also makes sense. 


Knowledge of the West Coast Offense

Jackson has spent his entire career in the West Coast offense, giving him a quick transition into his next offense if traded to the right team.

After Darrell Bevell was fired in Minnesota in 2010, Jackson followed the offensive coordinator to Seattle. The two have been quarterback-coordinator for every season of Jackson's career. 

That could possibly be a negative for Jackson, as he's been in the same system for six years but failed to turn into a reliable starter in either Minnesota or Seattle. Transitioning into another offense, even if similar to Bevell's West Coast offense, could be a speed bump. 

However, you'd have to think Jackson would be a quick study if a team like the Eagles wanted to add another name to the mix at quarterback. 



In his younger days in Minnesota, Jackson was one of the more mobile quarterbacks. In 19 starts from 2006-08, Jackson rushed for nearly 500 yards and four scores. He was only sacked 41 times during that three-year span, too. 

However, the mobility seemed to drop off this past season. That could be due to his injured pectoral, which may have given him the incentive to rush less in 2011.

Jackson rushed for 108 yards and a career low 2.7 yards per rush (not counting 2009, when Jackson was simply a knee-down machine). He was also sacked a career-high 41 times. 

Now that he's healthy, however, Jackson should retain some of that earlier mobility. 



A team trading for Jackson likely isn't expecting a starter. That's a good thing, because Jackson is nothing more than a backup and top-60 NFL quarterback. 

He does have experience some teams will covet, however, and the transition into another West Coast offense wouldn't be difficult. Mobility could be another asset if he's truly healthy. 

One hurdle for any team dealing for Jackson: His $4 million base salary in 2012. Few teams are going to want to give him that money, but any team that does deal for Jackson knows that that is what they must pay. Maybe the two sides could re-negotiate a deal, but that would fall upon Jackson abiding. 

Overall, a team desperate for quarterback help wouldn't be making a huge investment in dealing for Jackson. At the right price, and if Jackson agreed to negotiate his 2012 salary, he makes sense for a handful of NFL teams.