Sometimes when I type things here on the blog machine, I make predictions and they’re right. Not oftentimes, just sometimes. Rare times.
And when I try to predict the outcome of future events and am correct, I feel the urge to remind you. I then I try to suppress that urge, knowing full well that such an action leads to an image of pretentious douchebagery, and I’ll acquire a reputation of being a person who thoroughly enjoys the fragrance of his own flatulence.
Or perhaps it would just further that image. Either way, nothing good comes of such an action, which is fine, because one can only be boastful once a correct statement is made. So being restrained isn’t something I’ve had to worry about very often, meaning what’s about to happen could be a first in GLS history.
I could be right about something. Thank you, Tarvaris Jackson, and your replacement level quarterbacking skills.
When the Seahawks somewhat surprisingly drafted Russell Wilson — who very much seemed like a project at the time — in April only a month after landing Matt Flynn during free agency and handing him a three-year contract with $10 million in guarantees, they did more than just draft and sign two quarterbacks.
They also bought a transition, both in terms of talent, and finances. Here’s what I wrote after Day 2 of the draft when Wilson, the Wisconsin standout, was selected in the third round:
Jackson remains on the roster too, and although Pete Carroll will tell you that there will be an open competition between the two during training camp for the top job, that’s a filthy lie. Seattle will have bought a very expensive clipboard holder if Flynn is a backup.
So where does all that leave Wilson, and why was he drafted at all? Simple. Similar to Foles, there’s a strong possibility that Wilson becomes the wedge that bumps dead weight from the depth chart. The selection of a quarterback in the third round indicates that once Jackson inevitably losses his training camp battle to Flynn, he could be moved while he still has value.
And lo the day is now coming when Jackson will move elsewhere to be a fine and reliable backup, Flynn will assume his starting position, and Wilson will continue to be groomed as either the future in Seattle, or somewhere.
Maybe the Seahawks are heading to a conclusion which could be even more lucrative long-term, with Wilson developed to be the next Flynn three years from now when his contract is getting ready to expire. By then he’ll be 26, and knowing that one year later he could be a highly-coveted commodity on the open market just as Flynn was this past March, the Seahawks could flip him for a high draft pick and address other needs.
But that’s all meandering through an unknown future. Right now what’s becoming glaringly apparent is that Jackson isn’t part of the Seahawks’ plans. He didn’t take a single snap during Seattle’s preseason opener against the Titans, and he watched as Flynn completed 11 of his 13 attempts for 71 yards and an interception. Then he watched some more during the second half when Wilson did what Wilson does: run, scramble, run some more, make a few mistakes, but most importantly do something that Jackson hasn’t done in quite some time. He showed upside, and lots of it, especially on his 37-yard touchdown run.
Jason La Canfora gave the rumor mill a strong spin last night with his very educated guess that barring an injury to either Flynn or Wilson this week, the Seahawks will try to trade Jackson. At this point that seems like the only sensible outcome as we move closer to the start of the season, and Jackson’s value continues to diminish. Right now as far as the trade market is concerned, he’s essentially a slightly more talented Colt McCoy, a fade that will settle in further once Jackson feels the sweet warmth of plastic on his hind region for likely at least three quarters again this week with Flynn starting, and Wilson coming in for the third quarter.
Mike Florio’s report that the Seahawks are indeed shopping Jackson and they’ve talked to a few teams seems to solidify his fate. But the $4 million base salary he’s due this year could present a challenge, since that’s far too much greenery to pay a backup. This past offseason the backup QB market handed Kyle Orton a $900,000 paycheck for 2012, while Jason Campbell will make $1.4 million.
So dream big dreams, Seattle, and try to orchestrate a trade. But the far more likely scenario is that Jackson is cut and he then celebrates his Labor Day weekend while unemployed. Hey, it could be worse, Tarvaris. It can always be worse.
When that happens, who would want Jackson? He played through injuries last year while completing 60.2 percent of his passes at 6.9 yards per attempt. Both average numbers, but you don’t need spectacular from your backup. You need reliable and trustworthy, and Jackson can do reliable and trustworthy.
The Broncos could be an option if they’re not quite comfortable yet with rookie Brock Osweiler behind Peyton Manning, and Jackson is certainly an upgrade over Caleb Hanie. The Lions are a possibility too if they view Jackson as an improvement over Shaun Hill. Fluke injuries or not, Matthew Stafford has still played only one full season.