Thursday, July 21, 2011

What A Tavaris Jackson Signing Would Mean

John Clayton reported today that the Seahawks may not even make an offer to Matt Hasselbeck after the lockout and have their sights on Tavaris Jackson. I'm not one to be all that reactionary to these things, but since Jackson's name has been brought up multiple times, it's worth exploring what that move would look like.

First off, let's get to know Jackson as a QB. He is 28 years old, 6'2" tall and 225lbs.He has started 20 games in his career and his team is 10-10 in those games. He has a career QB rating of 76.6. He started a career-high 12 games in 2007 and led his team to an 8-4 record in those games (the team finished 8-8 for the season). In 2008, he started five games and was 2-3, while Gus Frerotte was 8-3. The discrepancy between a 37-year-old veteran QB in Frerotte and Jackson likely made the Vikings that much more interested in bringing a guy like Brett Favre in 2009. Jackson did not start a game in 2009 and only got one start in 2010. He has 24 TDs and 22 INTs in his career, a completion % under 60% and a Whitehurst-like 6.6 yards/attempt.

There is little to see in those numbers that would have anyone targeting Jackson as a franchise QB. His most appealing traits to a team like Seattle are that he know's Darrell Bevell's system, is young, and would be cheap. The cynical reaction would be that the Seahawks front office is bringing in a QB to compete with Charlie Whitehurst that he actually has a chance to beat. The team has to know Whitehurst has no chance of beating out Hasselbeck this year.

Let's try a less cynical perspective. Whitehurst is on the last year of his contract. The Seahawks are undoubtedly going to draft a QB in the first round next year that will be the guy Carroll and Schneider build around. They have already stated multiple times that they believe in having a QB develop behind a veteran for a few years instead of throwing them into the fire. That means the team needs a veteran starter next year. They may not want to lock up too much money in the QB position for the next two years to plug holes elsewhere, knowing that the guy they invest in will not be the long-term answer. A player like Carson Palmer has at least 2-3 years left and would be expensive. Hasselbeck may not stay healthy long enough to count on him for two seasons, leading them to have to invest more money in another stop-gap quarterback. Signing Jackson to a modest two year deal with a team option for a third gives them a guy to compete with Whitehurst this season, and a guy who can either start or backup the next couple of years. He knows the offense, and can help bring a rookie along.

There is logic in there.It just so happens to be logic I don't agree with. Hasselbeck gives the team a much better chance to compete this year and next while also bringing along the rookie they draft and allowing him to retire a Seahawk. If the Jackson signing happens, the NFC West QBOTF situation will be: Sam Bradford (STL), Colin Kaepernick (SF), Kevin Kolb (if the rumors are true ARZ), Whitehurst/Jackson (SEA). Yikes.

The truth will be revealed soon enough, but the resolution of the QB situation is one item I'm beginning to dread more than anticipate. 

4 comments :

FWBrodie said...

You're forgetting one very important factor here, Matt Hasselbeck is terrible. Not only that, but with 4 extremely inexperienced lineman slotted to start in '11, is Matt really the guy you want running for his life? He would be doing a lot more falling down than running. Rip the bandaid off. It's over, Matt has regressed to Bulgeresque awfulness. End the legacy today before it gets stomped any further into the ground.

hawkblogger said...

You may be right about Matt. If there is someone clearly better that the team can add for a modest price, I'm all for it. I know some folks want that to be Whitehurst, but I've never seen a player ascend to the starting role without earning it. Even draft choices have to show they are ready. Handing over the reigns to Charlie would be pure shot in the dark.

The last three years have seen bad offensive line play and major injuries there, bad wide receiver play and major injuries there, absolutely no running game, and three different offensive coordinators.

There is not a single quarterback in the league that would play great under those circumstances. Some would undoubtedly play better than Hasselbeck, but certainly not great. Just look at how one season of mayhem at WR effected Peyton Manning.

My evaluation is that Hasselbeck can be a perfectly fine QB for the next 1-2 seasons until we draft our next one. All he costs is money (no precious draft picks), and unlike Whitehurst, he's earned the chance by playing really well at the end of the year. Charlie's best game was pedestrian at best.

We'll know soon enough, and if it's Charlie, I'll keep looking for a reason to believe he can be more than what I think he is.

FWBrodie said...

Whitehurst may not have earned it, but Matt certainly has lost it. I think if you handcuff Jackson to Whitehurst you raise your floor a bit and also raise your aggregate upside at the position. We know Jackson can win football games, and many of us believe Whitehurst can. That's a nice little mix of faith and proof that we can bank on during an obvious rebuilding year. The Hawks can't do much worse than what Matt has been offering over the past three seasons.

The Hawks' pass pro has been middle of the pack according to most statistics, and between BMW, Stokely, and Obo he had places to throw the ball, although obviously that unit lacked consistency.

I've compiled the numbers a couple of times that compare Bulger's final 3 seasons in STL to Matt's previous 3 in SEA and they are near identical. I don't think there's any debate about whether it was time for the Ram's to move on from him, and look how it's turning out.

Jeff said...

@FWBrodie - "I don't think there's any debate about whether it was time for the Ram's to move on from him, and look how it's turning out."

I would agree with that if the hawks were picking first overall in the draft to get a guy like bradford..or Luck. But they aren't. They are going after TJack..the same guy that was gauranteed a job and lost it to a 41 year old man.
..and "We know Jackson can win football games"...oh we do? with a 10-10 record? yeah, he can lose as many as he wins. right on