Tarvaris Jackson: Plan "E"?

DETROIT MI - DECEMBER 13: Tavaris Jackson #7 of the Minnesota Vikings looks to throw a first quarter pass while playing the New York Giants at Ford Field on December 13 2010 in Detroit Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

John Schneider has stated on several occasions recently that the Hawks have a Plan A, a Plan B, a Plan C and a Plan D when it comes to the QBOTF (quarterback of the future). I think everyone assumes that those 4 options are Matt Hasselbeck, Charlie Whitehurst, Kevin Kolb, and Carson Palmer, in whatever order you please. Two quotes have stood out to me in the last few day that pertain to Minnesota's Tavaris Jackson and make me wonder if there's a Plan E involved. The first one is from a guy that is pretty damn respected and accurate when it comes to NFL news and that's Adam Schefter. He said:

"Seattle fans probably won't like this and Minnesota might be amused by it, but I wouldn't discount Minnesota Vikings free-agent quarterback Tarvaris Jackson; he worked with the Seahawks' new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and could pick up Seattle's new offense quickly after this lockout ends, whenever it ends. But Seattle will have to come up with someone, because Whitehurst alone will put the Seahawks at a disadvantage."

I respect Schefter a lot as a journalist because he tends to stay out of the headline grabbing stuff that never ends up coming true. Though I love rumors as much as the next guy, I'd say more often than not, Schefter holds off reporting on them until he has real reason to believe they're true.

Now, on the other hand, there's Trent Dilfer. I'm not a Dilfer hater; the things he has said lately really annoy me but he seems like a genuinely nice guy and he was a pretty good NFL quarterback so I won't just discount his opinion entirely. Here's what he said anyway:

(Darrell) Bevell, now in Seattle, always had an affinity for Tarvaris Jackson. And believe it or not, I think that might be the play here for the Seattle Seahawks -- I think it might be trying to get Tarvaris Jackson from Minnesota. They've always liked him, they liked his starter potential. (Bevell) tried to make it happen for him in Minnesota and that might be the direction they're trying to go. I don't like that plan, but if that's their plan and that's what they're trying to do, then more power to them.

When I was a player, ... I always kind of started seeing how teams really believe that they could make something out of a guy, that they fall in love with him early on, a coach falls in love with him early on, and regardless of public opinion you're going to make it happen. As I've done the research the last 24 hours, I've made some calls, I've wrapped my brain around it, I think that's something that might be in their plans.

Dilfer claims this is not just his suspicion but that rather he has some inside information on it so it's worth noting. At this point I haven't watched Tarvaris Jackson play enough to make a real judgement on him but his resume is pretty underwhelming. In 2007 he started 12 games and passed for 1,911 yards with a 58% completion rate; 9 touchdowns to 12 interceptions and a rating of 70.8. In 2008 he started 5 games and played in 9 - passing for 1,056 yards/59% comp/9 TDs and 2 interceptions with a rating of 95.4. Since then he's started only one game and played in 11 - with pretty mediocre numbers. Overall career numbers that make it pretty hard to get excited about but there's also a good chance the Hawks bring him in as a quality backup that will be given the chance to "compete" for the job. As a Mind of No Mind put it recently in a commentary discussion on the QB position, "I think they'll bring in Tavaris Jackson to compete with Whitehurst for the job, with the idea that Whitehurst will win, but Jackson will give us a backup QB with starting experience in the offense. Then if Charlie does well, we have our QB of the future, if not, then we'll have the draft pick to get that QB." Though I'm not sure he's right, it does seem to be pretty logical. 

If the plan that goes into action is the one that pegs Whitehurst as the Hawks' starter in 2011 it does make a whole hell of a lot of sense to have a quality backup QB that knows Darrell Bevell, can run the offense as a veteran, and legitimately push Whitehurst for the job. If the Hawks do what John Schneider indicated they would in a recent interview, they'll sign a UDFA QB as a developmental project. However, it's unlikely they rely on him an their 2nd QB. Tarvaris Jackson will be cheap, won't cost us a draft pick, and is versatile enough to provide quality depth. All bets are off if they're bringing him in as the presumptive starter, but the scenario I painted above wouldn't be the worst thing ever. 

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