Former NFL quarterback Tarvaris Jackson tragically passed away following a car accident in Alabama on Sunday night, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Jackson was 36 years old.
A second-round pick in the 2006 draft, Jackson made 36 appearances for the Vikings over five seasons, including 12 starts in 2007. He signed with the Seahawks in 2011 and served as Seattle’s full-time starter for that entire campaign. Following a season as a reserve in Buffalo in 2012, Jackson returned to the Seahawks and backed up Russell Wilson for three years.
All told, Jackson made 34 NFL starts and completed 59.6% of his passes for 7,263 yards, 39 touchdowns, and 35 interceptions. He earned a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Seahawks in 2013. In 2018, Jackson accepted a role as a graduate assistant at Alabama State, his alma mater, before becoming Tennessee State’s quarterbacks coach in 2019.
PFR extends its deepest condolences to Jackson’s family and friends.
Jackson, 33, wasn’t charged following an alleged domestic dispute with his wife in June, but he might not be out of the woods in terms of NFL discipline. The league declined to broach the topic with Marvez, and wouldn’t comment as to whether Jackson might face a suspension. Meanwhile, a source tells the Sporting News scribe that Jackson has told the Seahawks he’s been cleared, but Seattle hasn’t corroborated that with the league.
The Seahawks are currently rolling with undrafted rookie Trevone Boykin as Wilson’s backup, so the club could obviously be in the market for a more experienced option. Jackson had been with Seattle for the past four of the past five seasons, but he hasn’t seen serious action since starting 14 games in 2011. Wilson hasn’t missed a single game during his career, so Jackson has only attempted 20 passes over the past three years.
Free agent quarterback Tarvaris Jackson will not be prosecuted following an alleged dispute with his wife in June, according to TMZ Sports. Jackson, 33, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he was said to have pointed a loaded gun at his wife. For his part, Jackson told police that his wife had threatened to stab him with a knife.
Earlier this offseason, there was talk of the Seahawks re-signing Jackson, but Seattle seems to have moved on. In late April, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider indicated that they were still in talks with Jackson about a return. However, that was before they inked former TCU signal caller Trevone Boykin and ex-BYU QB Jake Heaps. Last year, Jackson appeared in four games for the Seahawks and completed four of six passes.
Free agent offensive lineman Julian Vandervelde has generated interest from three NFL teams, a source tells PFR (Twitter link). The 28-year-old Vandervelde has spent the duration of his career with the Eagles, but he’s bounced on-and-off the active roster, appearing in just 17 games over five seasons. In 2015 alone, Vandervelde, who can play both guard and center, had three separate stints with Philadelphia. The former Iowa Hawkeye also had a workout with the Seahawks earlier this year.
Let’s take a look at a few more items from around the league:
Looking (far) ahead to the 2018 draft, UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is expected to be one of the first players off the board, and NFL clubs are already looking into him, reports Albert Breer of NFL.com. While Bruins head coach Jim Mora Jr. is unsurprisingly a major supporter of Rosen (“His potential is unlimited”), some NFL scouts think that Rosen might need to exhibit more maturity over the next two years.
As anyone who was watching Amazon’s All or Nothing witnessed, the Cardinals cut defensive end Lawrence Okoye last season after he parked in the wrong parking spot (link via Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com). Of course, had Okoye been a more high-profile player, the parking issue likely would gone unpunished — instead, the incident was used by head coach Bruce Arians as a way to teach his players to become detail-oriented.
FRIDAY, 11:44am: Jackson requested a public defender in the assault case, according to court documents obtained by TMZ Sports. The former quarterback claims to have no money to his name, although his request was denied by a judge.
According to OverTheCap.com, Jackson earned at least $3MM from 2013 through 2015.
JUNE 25th, 9:15am: Jackson posted a $2,500 bond and was released from jail yesterday, reports Hush. The 33-year-old has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
JUNE 24th, 5:06pm: Jackson was apparently intoxicated and told his wife “I’ll kill you” while aiming the gun at her, according to Chris Hush of WESH (Twitter link), who passes along a copy of the arrest report, which states that marijuana was found in Jackson’s home.
4:51pm: Free agent quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has been arrested for allegedly pulling a gun on his wife, according to a report from WESH (via Twitter).
The former Seahawks backup received honorable mention last month when PFR’s Dallas Robinson ran down the best free agents still available on the board. If these charges stick, however, one has to imagine that Jackson’s odds of playing in the NFL this year are slim when considering his age (33), limited skill set, and lack of playing time across the last three years.
In late April, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider indicated that they were still in talks with Jackson about a return. However, that was before they inked former TCU signal caller Trevone Boykin and ex-BYU QB Jake Heaps.
Last year, Jackson appeared in four games for the Seahawks and completed four of six passes.
The most high-profile free agent signings occurred more than two months ago, but as we near June there are still talented NFL free agents available on the open market. Most of these players (with a few exceptions) won’t command much guaranteed money, and given that we’ve passed the May 12 deadline, none will factor into the compensatory draft pick formula. Let’s take a look at the players who will try to find a home as training camp approaches:
1. Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB: The most obvious destination for Fitzpatrick remains the Jets, who don’t intend to play second-round pick Christian Hackenberg immediately but, as of the draft, hadn’t had meaningful talks with Fitz’s camp in awhile. The 33-year-old Fitzpatrick has apparently told people he’d “rather not play football” in 2016 than accept New York’s current offer, though that seems like a negotiating ploy to get the Jets to put more than $7-8MM on the table. Gang Green holds all the leverage in this scenario, as the only other club that might have still been searching for a quarterback — the Broncos — is thought to have ended their hunt for another signal-caller after drafting Paxton Lynch last month.
2. Anquan Boldin, WR: Even as he ages, Boldin continues to post solid production — he’s managed at least 65 receptions in each of the past four years, averaging nearly 1,000 yards and five touchdowns during that time. And while the 49ers have not asked him to return in 2016, Boldin could be an option for a number of wide receiver-needy teams, as the Bengals, Steelers, Colts, Chiefs, and Giants could all make varying levels of sense for the veteran pass-catcher, especially given that he’s indicated he’d prefer to play for a contender. Boldin has taken just one free agent visit this offseason, but that team — Washington — is unlikely to still have interest given that it selected TCU wideout Josh Doctson in the first round of the draft.
3. Arian Foster, RB: There’s no question that Foster offers the highest upside of any free agent on this list, as he’s topped 1,200 yards rushing in every season that he’s remained even remotely healthy. But health, of course, has remained a hindrance throughout Foster’s career — in 2015 alone, Foster was slowed by a groin injury during camp before suffering a torn Achilles in in Week 7. The Dolphins met with Foster earlier this offseason and could still be a landing spot, while the Raiders, Eagles, and Chargers (especially if Melvin Gordon‘s recovery from microfracture surgery doesn’t go well) could be options.
4. Jahri Evans, G: Knee and ankle injuries limited Evans to 11 games in 2015, but like Foster, Evans is a solid contributor when he’s on the field, as he graded as the league’s No. 27 guard among 81 qualifiers last year, per Pro Football Focus. Entering his age-33 season, Evans might have to be willing to engage in a camp battle for a starting role, or even wait until a club suffers an injury along its offensive interior. But a team like the Broncos, who are currently projected to start sixth-round rookie Connor McGovern at right guard, could express interest.
5. Louis Vasquez, G: Vasquez isn’t quite the guard that Evans is, but he offers a vast amount of experience, as he played over 1,000 snaps in 2015 with Denver, and has started 101 games since entering the league in 2009. Not yet 30 years old, Vasquez could help a number of clubs at either guard position — he met with the Titans earlier this offseason, and depending on its assessment of Jeremiah Poutasi, Tennessee may still be interested. The Chiefs, having failed to replace Jeff Allen, could also make sense as a destination.
6. Andre Johnson, WR: After posting the worst full-season results of his career, Johnson was released by the Colts just one season into a three-year pact. Whether interested clubs will determine that Johnson was victimized by a lackluster 2015 Indianapolis (and largely Andrew Luck-less) offense — or instead conclude that Johnson is just about finished at age-34 — is an open question, but the 13-year veteran has indicated that he’d like to continue playing in 2016.
7. Will Beatty, T: Beatty is expected to be fully healthy this summer after missing the entire 2015 season with a torn pectoral muscle, but he reportedly won’t be returning to the Giants. It’s a little surprising that Beatty hasn’t yet found a home for 2016, but he shouldn’t have to wait much longer, as he’s clearly the best tackle available on the open market (his top competition is the likes of Jake Long and Mike Adams). I could see the Bears bringing in Beatty to compete with Charles Leno on the blindside, while the Cardinals could also be a feasible landing spot if they aren’t happy with D.J. Humphries — who didn’t play a single snap as a rookie — at right tackle.
8. James Jones, WR: Another season catching passes from Aaron Rodgers, another successful year for Jones, who returned to Green Bay after a year in Oakland to post 50 receptions for nearly 900 yards an eight touchdowns. Jones, now 32, has indicated that he’d like to play for awhile longer, though the Packers have reportedly moved on. After waiting until July of last year to sign with the Giants (and September to reunite with the Pack), Jones could again have to wait awhile to find a new team, but whoever signs him will be acquiring a big-play threat — in 2015, Jones ranked fourth in the league with 17.8 yards per reception.
9. Ryan Wendell, C/G: Perhaps the least recognizable name on this list, Wendell spent the last seven seasons as a utility interior lineman with the Patriots, and ended up starting 44 contests from 2012-2014. A knee injury prematurely ended Wendell’s 2015 season in November, and a March report stated that Wendell would wait until he returned to full health before signing with a new team. A return to New England can’t be ruled out, but a club like the Cardinals — who are currently projecting A.Q. Shipley to start at center — could also be on Wendell’s radar.
10. Owen Daniels, TE: Daniels has spent all ten of his NFL seasons under the tutelage of Gary Kubiak, following the coach from Houston to Baltimore and, finally, to Denver. That streak of loyalty is now in danger after the Broncos released Daniels earlier this year, though Kubiak did not rule out re-signing the veteran tight end (Denver has since signed fellow TE Garrett Graham, however). Even at age-33, Daniels performed in line with his career averages, posting 48 receptions for more than 500 yards and four touchdowns.
The draft is still dominating today’s coverage, but life goes on the NFL world. Let’s dive into some more notes from the NFL’s two West divisions…
Like the Rams, the Broncos must decide on a fifth-year option — in Denver’s case, it’s for defensive tackle Sylvester Williams, who would command a $6.757MM salary in 2017. Broncos GM John Elway said he’ll make a decision on Williams on Monday, but called the $6MM+ figure a “pretty big number” (links via Troy Renck of the Denver Post and Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com).
Though the Broncos‘ next offseason focus will obviously be coming to terms on a long-term deal with Von Miller, Elway says the club also wants to work something out with receiver Emmanuel Sanders and linebacker Brandon Marshall, tweets Renck. Both Sanders and Marshall are both entering the final years of their respective contracts, and Sanders, for his part, recently expressed a desire to stay with Denver.
Former Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch still hasn’t filed his retirement papers, but Pete Carroll thinks Lynch is committed to remaining retired, according to Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com (Twitter link). “Your guess is as good as mine,” said GM John Schneider when asked about Lynch’s plans (Twitter link via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times).
Both Carroll and Schneider said the Seahawks are working on finding another quarterback, and are still speaking with free agent Tarvaris Jackson, tweets Condotta. For what it’s worth, the Seattle duo made those comments before reportedly agreeing to terms with former TCU QB Trevone Boykin.
Some assorted notes from around the NFL on this Easter Sunday…
Texans coach Bill O’Brien had Brock Osweiler atop his free agent list since January, tweets John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. O’Brien and general manager RickSmith agreed that they’d pursue the quarterback in free agency, and owner Bob McNairmade it clear that he’d pay whatever it took to sign the former Broncos signal-caller.
For what it’s worth, Condotta notes that PeteCarroll prefers to have a veteran backup quarterback, and the Seahawks coach previously commended Jackson for his leadership. “We really liked his contributions and he’s been a big factor for us and we would like to have him back if we could,’’ Carroll said.
Southern Utah safety MilesKillebrew is generating plenty of interest around the league, tweets Bleacher Report’s Luke Easterling. The defensive back is set to meet with the Buccaneers, Panthers, Titans, Cardinals, Patriots, and Falcons.
The brief post-Super Bowl lull has set in on the NFL world, but the first day of free agency is right around the corner, and you can bet that there will soon be reports concerning contract extensions, franchise tags, etc. As we await that deluge, let’s take a look at some news and notes from around the league:
Seahawks backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is expected to test the free agent market this year, according to Jessamyn McIntyre of 710 ESPN Seattle (via Twitter). McIntyre reports that there was a strong market for Jackson’s services last season before he ultimately decided to re-up with Seattle.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wonders what it will take for the Broncos to retain Brock Osweiler, especially since there are likely to be a number of teams like the Texans, Jets, and Rams potentially willing to bid against Denver for his services. We learned yesterday that a contract with an AAV of around $9MM would probably not be enough to prevent Osweiler from testing the free agent market, and Florio appears to concur with that sentiment.
Kevin Acee of The San Diego Times-Tribune explores potential stadium sites in San Diego that the Chargers might consider, concluding that the Mission Valley site, although less exciting, is more likely than the East Village option.
Although there have been rumors that the Jaguars will consider adding an offensive tackle this offseason, Ryan O’Halloran of The Florida Times-Union would be surprised if that happened. O’Halloran notes that the Jaguars’ two starting tackles, Luke Joeckel and Jermey Parnell, currently account for the third and fourth highest cap charges on the roster, respectively, and he adds that no starting-caliber free agent tackle would sign with Jacksonville at this point.
Although he may be a bit biased, former NFL GM and well-respected football mind Bill Polian believes the Lions made the right decision in retaining Jim Caldwell, per Kyle Meinke of MLive.com. Polian points to the team’s drastic improvement in the second half of the 2015 season and the players’ support of Caldwell as indicators that Caldwell is the right man for the job.
Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph will see his base salary drop from $8.75MM to $7MM as a part of his new extension, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle tweets. He’ll then earn base salaries of $6.5MM in 2016 and 2017. Joseph will also receive $500K in 46-man roster bonuses each year (link).
Titans tight end Dorin Dickerson suffered a ruptured Achilles this week, and will have season-ending surgery to repair the damage sometime in the near future, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean (Twitter link). Dickerson didn’t appear in a regular-season game in 2014, but has recently spent time with several teams, including the Texans, Patriots, Bills, and Lions.
Newcomer Vince Wilfork is excited to bring his leadership skills to the Texans, as John McClain of the Houston Chronicle writes. “I want to be a guy that’s played the game for a while that they can always turn to and ask questions about anything football-wise or off the field,” said the 33-year-old, who will be playing between J.J. Watt and Jared Crick. “I’ve played with a lot of guys. I’ve played with some Hall of Famers. I’ve been coached by some great guys.”
Lions wide receiver TJ Jones missed all of last season after undergoing shoulder surgery. Now, he’s not just trying to get back to what he did at Notre Dame – he’s looking to top it, as ESPN.com’s Michael Rothstein writes. Detroit selected Jones in the sixth round of the 2014 draft.
David Ausberry‘s one-year deal with the Lions is worth $660K with no guaranteed cash, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (on Twitter). Ausberry signed with Detroit earlier this month.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter) wouldn’t be surprised if the Bears add a veteran offensive lineman in advance of training camp.
Tarvaris Jackson‘s one-year deal with the Seahawks will pay him a fully guaranteed $1.5MM, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today Sports (on Twitter). The 31-year-old Jackson earned $1.25MM in 2014, which was right around the middle of the pack in terms of backup quarterbacks. Jackson attempted just one pass in 2014 (a completion), but he’s started 34 games during his nine-year career, so he would offer valuable experience in the event of a Russell Wilson injury.
Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link) attributes the delay in Evan Mathis signing to the ongoing veteran minicamps rather than a weak market. Once minicamps are over and teams have fully assessed their offensive lines, Robinson expects the market for the guard to solidify.
Giants coach TomCoughlin told reporters, including Paul Schwartz of the New York Post (on Twitter), that he expects that wide receiver Victor Cruz won’t have to start training camp on the PUP list. Cruz is signed through 2018 and carries an $8.2MM cap number — the second-highest figure on the team behind Eli Manning. Cruz’s season ended in October when he tore his patella tendon.
Dez Bryant showing up for Cowboys minicamp reinforces why his threat to hold out shouldn’t be taken seriously, Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (on Twitter) opines.
G.J. Kinne‘s transition from quarterback to wide receiver is going quite well, Eagles coach Chip Kelly told reporters, including the staff from the team’s website (on Twitter). Kelly says that he didn’t know how well Kinne caught the ball until he tried him out at wide receiver. From this point forward, Kelly says gaining familiarity with the position will be his toughest task.