Just minutes ago Ian Rapport of the NFL Network announced that via sources he had received word that the Buffalo Bills were in the final stages of completing a deal that will send QB Tarvaris Jackson to the Bills for . This will be the second time in the last few years that the Bills and Seahawks have completed a deal. In 2010 the Bills sent troubled RB Marshawn Lynch to the Seahawks in exchange for two draft picks.
What the Bills get in Jackson is a big athletic QB with a strong arm and some athleticism. He hails for the FCS’s Alabama State and was a late riser coming into the draft back in 2006. The 6’2, 225 lbs. QB was taken higher than projections had him in the 2006 draft by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2nd Round. The thought on Jackson going into the NFL was that he had a high ceiling but needed time to develop his skills and learn how to truly play QB.
Unfortunately for Jackson he was pressed into duty early and often, playing in four games and starting two his rookie year. The results were quite mixed as Jackson went 47 of 81 in four games throwing for 475 yards, 2 TD’s and 4 INT’s. The following year Jackson was named the Vikings starting QB playing in 12 games throwing for 1,911 yards, 9 TD’s and 12 INT’s. Jackson ended up spending five years with the Vikings accumulating total numbers of 354 of 603 (58.7%), 3,984 yards, 24 TD’s and 22 INT’s. He was traded before the 2011 season to Seattle where he started last year. Setting career marks in all statistical categories (271-450, 60.2%, 3,091 yards, 14 TD, and 13 INT).
What you have is a still relatively young QB, Jackson is 29 years old entering the 2012 season and has shown some improvement in his career to date but nothing that indicated he has the ability to reach his ceiling. Jackson’s biggest struggle has always been consistency, he has all the physical abilities you could ask for in a QB, but when it comes to the mental part of the game Jackson has struggled.
So why would the Bills trade for a current backup QB who couldn’t beat out rookie Russell Wilson (a QB prospect the Bills were rumored to be very high on)? Well the answer is simple, the Bills think that in Gailey’s system that Jackson can finally develop into the QB many hoped he would. The system is very simple relying on primary or secondary reads, and based on timing. The Bills system does not ask their QB to do as much in depth defensive reading as the systems elsewhere have asked Jackson to.
That and there is the common thought that Gailey has taken a once erratic and unpredictable QB and turned him into an all-star caliber signal caller. Gailey molded Kordell Stewart from a running slash style to a passer that could drop back scan the field and deliver the ball effectively. But can he do it again?
Gailey will have lots of time to work with Jackson as he is expected to function as the Bills primary backup. This is important to note, because before anybody says it, he is NOT coming in here to challenge Fitzpatrick…at least not this year. Let us be clear though the continued entrance of new QB’s with prior starting experience (Thigpen, Young, and now Jackson) should be a sign to Fitzpatrick that if he does not improve he will have to fight for his job in the near future.
This trade will be judged a winner or loser based on the pick(s) the Bills surrender to the Seahawks. Our expectation is that the pick will likely be a late Day 3 pick and likely be conditional based on Jackson’s playing time and statistical achievement. ESPN’s Adam Schefter also reports that the deal is contingent upon the Bills and Jackson agreeing to a new contract which should ease minds about how much the Bills will be paying Jackson.