Tarvaris Jackson was gone, but obviously not forgotten.
It was Wilson’s arrival last spring – as a third-round draft choice – and rapid development that led to Jackson being traded to the Buffalo Bills in August. Jackson did not play for the Bills last season, but was re-signed this offseason, only to be released Tuesday.
Jackson was given a physical after arriving in Seattle and then agreed to contract terms. He did not participate in the final practice of the team’s mandatory three-day minicamp on Thursday, but coach Pete Carroll was asked about Jackson’s return after the session.
“I think it’s a great boost for us in a competitive sense,” Carroll said after stating that the deal with Jackson had yet to be completed. “We thought of Tarvaris as a tremendously tough football player and competitive kid that battled for us.”
That was during that 2011 season, when Jackson was signed as a free agent after the 136-day lockout that erased the offseason because of his knowledge of the system being installed by offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell – who, like Jackson, came to the Seahawks from the Minnesota Vikings.
Jackson not only was the starter, he was voted offensive captain by his teammates.
“We’re a little better than we were in those days,” Carroll said, referring to the team as well as the quarterback position – where Wilson is entrenched as the starter after a season when he tied Peyton Manning’s rookie record by throwing 26 touchdown passes and led the Seahawks to an 11-5 regular-season record and the franchise’s first road playoff victory since 1983.
“So we bring Tarvaris back with the thought that he’ll make this a really competitive situation. He’ll compete with Brady and that will be a really good battle for us to see what happens at that spot. Russell’s our quarterback and there’s no question about that. But as Tarvaris comes back in, he understands the system, we are very familiar with him, he’s comfortable with this setting and surroundings. We’ll expect for him to battle.”
Just as Jackson did in 2011, when he played the second half of the season with an injured pectoral in his throwing shoulder. But play he did, passing for 3,091 yards and 14 touchdowns in 14 starts.
Last offseason, Matt Flynn was signed in free agency to compete with Jackson for the starting job. Then Wilson arrived. He won the starting job during the preseason, which prompted the trade of Jackson to the Bills and then the trade of Flynn to the Oakland Raiders this offseason.
Carroll said the addition of Jackson is not an indication of any dissatisfaction with Quinn, who was signed in April.
“We’re seizing the opportunity that one of our guys is out there and we can bring him back in,” Carroll said. “And he’ll be able to help us. T-Jack’s got a strong arm. He understands the system and he’s tough as nails. That’s a lot of good stuff. So it’s a great opportunity for us.
“Brady’s done a fine job. This just makes us that much stronger. Again, it just goes as a depth that you have competing at the spot that just makes you better when guys are battling.”