What Tarvaris Jackson Trade Means for Buffalo Bills

Erik Frenz@ErikFrenzSenior Writer IAugust 26, 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

Vince Young? Tyler Thigpen? Not cutting it.

At least that's the message the Buffalo Bills would be sending with a trade for Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, as is being reported by NFL.com's Ian Rapoport:

Breaking: The #Seahawks will trade QB Tarvaris Jackson to the #Bills, two sources tell me. Finalized soon. Terms not yet available

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 26, 2012

Whatever the terms of the deal are between the two teams, the terms of the Bills' backup quarterback situation have been shaken to the core.

There may be room for one of the two in Young and Thigpen if the Bills decide to list jack-of-all-trades Brad Smith as a wide receiver, but it seems more likely the Bills would call on him as an emergency option rather than reserve a third backup spot at QB.

This is a delicate situation, as delicate quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has battled injuries in each of his three seasons with the Buffalo: an ankle injury in 2009, a knee injury in 2010 and a rib/chest injury in 2011. The Bills feel they must do their due diligence at the backup QB spot.

Although not always for injury reasons, only once has Fitzpatrick played a full 16-game season in his career. And even then, he was injured for much of the season with the aforementioned cracked ribs. His ability to stay healthy for a full season is one we have not yet seen.

Investing in the backup quarterback spot is a no-duh move for the Bills at this point, especially given the struggles of the Bills' other options to this point.

Is Tarvaris Jackson a better option than Young or Thigpen? Their career statistics suggest that to be the case. He also led the Seahawks to a 7-7 record in 2011 with marginal talent around him.

Neither Young nor Thigpen have inspired confidence with their preseason play.

Jackson hasn't thrown but five passes this preseason. That's not surprising, though. He was expendable with the signing of former Packers quarterback Matt Flynn (side note: man, Jackson must really hate former Packers quarterbacks...first Brett Favre in Minnesota, now Flynn in Seattle) and the emergence of rookie quarterback Russell Wilson (who also, coincidentally, happens to hail from Wisconsin).

Jackson was never a serious contender to start anyway (per ProFootballTalk.com), and had even agreed to alter his contract to facilitate a trade (per CBSSports.com). 

The CBS Sports report indicates that the Seahawks weren't commanding more than a conditional fifth-round pick that becomes a fourth-round pick based on Jackson's performance.

That's a low price to pay for a backup quarterback who has experience running a West Coast style offense under Brad Childress in Minnesota. While head coach Chan Gailey's offensive style isn't exactly the West Coast offense, there are many principles built off that philosophy.

And while the price of the trade may (or may not) increase if Jackson plays extensively, one could argue the value of the trade would also increase for the Bills.


Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained first-hand.