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Tarvaris is trade bait, but it won’t be easy

Tarvaris Jackson

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (7) winces as a trainer works on him during the third quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)


Seahawks coach Pete Carroll says that quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is frustrated because of the three-man competition at quarterback. While Jackson is indeed frustrated, it’s not because he’s being required to fend off two other quarterbacks -- it’s because the Seahawks have decided to try to trade him, and they’re taking their sweet time in doing it.

A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that the Seahawks are talking to a couple of teams about trading Jackson, and that a deal could happen. But the Seahawks prefer to wait for one or more teams to suffer a quarterback injury during the preseason, which would help them get a better deal in return.

Complicating matters is the fact that Jackson is due to earn a base salary of $4 million in 2012, a number that teams may not want to devote to the quarterback position.

Per the source, Jackson was never a serious contender to start in 2012. They called it an open competition after signing Matt Flynn, and they wisely gave Jackson the first crack with the first team, given that the incumbent has many friends and supporters in the locker room (including receiver Sidney Rice). As time has passed and Flynn has gotten acclimated, the Seahawks have faded Jackson toward the back of the pack.

Until the Seahawks make a final decision, they have to decide whether to put Jackson on the field during preseason games. Letting Jackson show what he can do could increase trade interest; keeping him on the bench avoids the kind of injury that could cause the Seahawks to owe Jackson his full salary.

The fact that Jackson didn’t play at all in the preseason opener suggests that the Seahawks are erring on the side of keeping Jackson healthy -- which means that it’s more important to avoid the $4 million than to get a draft pick in return for him.