Since our most polarizing former QB, Tarvaris Jackson, was released by the Buffalo Bills yesterday, a small eruption of controversy has resulted amongst Seahawk fans.
One side of the fanbase is ready to welcome T-Jax back with open arms. His 2011 season, in which he was the Seahawks' starter, was his best as a pro, leading the Seahawks to a 7-7 record (minus the two games he sat with injury, whereupon the Charlie Whitehurst train derailed and crashed into a nearby mountainside.) Jackson also put up decent but not great numbers of 3,091 yards, 271 completions and 14 touchdowns.
It's also worth noting that a good chunk of those numbers were put up while Jackson played through a torn pectoral muscle. In his throwing arm.
The other side of the fanbase is adamant about not bringing Jackson back, and that he was a prime reason for the Seahawks stalling at 7-9 for the second straight year. His tendency to hold onto the ball too long, lack of decision-making ability and the occasional awkward jump-pass (yes, I've seen him do it) are all things to consider whenever you're looking at bringing in a quarterback.
While they're definitely deal-breakers for a starting-caliber QB, what people are forgetting is this:
Tarvaris Jackson would be signed as a backup.
That's it, pure and simple. Jackson isn't being brought in for competition with Russell Wilson. Wilson is so goddamn firmly entrenched as the starter that you'd need to drill a hole halfway to China to unseat him.
Brady Quinn was signed to be Wilson's backup, but you know how training camp with this team goes – the best player wins. T-Jax could come in and make a strong case to overtake Quinn as the #2 QB here in Seattle. Here's why that could happen.
Jackson already knows the system. He's spent most of his career with OC Darrell Bevel, and would be a logical fit for a read-option offense that requires a mobile QB.
He's a backup capable of winning seven games. We've seen this before – Jackson won seven games as a starter in 2011 with a torn pectoral muscle. That's not easy. His arm was still a cannon during that stretch, in case you've forgotten. He's not Tom Brady, and he's not going to win you a Super Bowl, but try naming another backup QB in this league who can win seven games for you if needed. Go ahead.
He knows the receivers. Not only is he still close friends with Sidney Rice, but he also threw passes to some dude named Harvin in 2009 with the Vikings. The other Hawks receivers already have the chemistry with Jackson from the 2011 season, so the learning curve to get back in sync would be noticeably shorter.
He's more reliable than Brady Quinn. This is arguable simply on the basis that Quinn has spent the majority of his career with a complete dumpster fire of a team in Cleveland, but good QBs make their receivers better. It works that way more than the opposite in the NFL. Quinn, despite having a great work ethic, has not proven that so far in his career.
He already has the respect of the locker room. This has been stated before, but it's worth stating twice – the fact that Jackson played through most of 2011 with a torn pectoral muscle earned him the respect of his teammates in the locker room. This was especially confirmed when Charlie Whitehurst put on the most pathetic display of football ineptitude against the Browns that I've seen since Rick Mirer was still in the league.
Reportedly, Jackson was back at VMAC today and taking a physical, but that's the last we've heard of any developments here. But it makes too much sense to re-sign him, and he'd come as a solid — and cheap — insurance policy for what's shaping up to be one of the most potent offenses in the NFL in 2013.