Tarvaris Jackson's departure about to become official
By John Wawrow | The Associated Press
The Seahawks agreed to trade Tarvaris Jackson to the Bills on Sunday.
That deal couldn't be finalized, however, until the Bills and Jackson agreed to terms on a new contract, Jackson likely taking a paycut from the $4 million he was scheduled to earn.
Expect the Seahawks to get a conditional draft pick that will be in the back half of the draft.
Count me as being surprised that Seattle was able to trade Jackson, but my surprise has nothing to do with Jackson's value. He has been .500 as a starter, and even his most ardent critics would agree he is an above-average backup quarterback in the NFL. The difficulty in trading Jackson came from the fact that his deal would call for him to make $4 million. It was questionable that any other team in the league would want to pay him that much let alone give up something for the privilege of paying that much.
And while the possibility of Jackson taking a paycut had been floated out there, I questioned how realistic that was. After all, if Jackson was going to negotiate a new deal, wouldn't he prefer to choose the team he would negotiate that new deal with? He had a certain amount of leverage here because while he couldn't force the Seahawks to keep him at $4 million, he could decline to renegotiate that deal, forcing Seattle to cut him if it wanted to get rid of him and leaving him free to talk to any team.
But getting traded now gives everyone a little something: Seattle gets a draft pick for a player that didn't figure into its plans for this season, Buffalo gets a player it considers an upgrade from Vince Young as its backup quarterback, it gets him a week earlier than it would have if it waited until final roster cuts and it won't have to compete with any other suitors for Jackson's services.
Jackson gets a one-week head start on learning a new offense for the first time since he was drafted into the league, and he goes to a place with a secure role.
In the end, everyone's needs lined up, and Seattle was able to get something in return and even if that turns out to be a seventh-round pick, that's more than I expected them to get. After all, tight end Kellen Winslow cost Seattle only a seventh-round pick, and he averaged more than 70 receptions the past two seasons.