Russell Wilson spells bad news for Tarvaris Jackson

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  • By Brian McIntyre NFL.com
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On Sunday, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said that third-round draft pick Russell Wilson had shown enough during last weekend's rookie minicamp to join incumbent Tarvaris Jackson and free agent addition Matt Flynn in the competition for the team's starting quarterback job.

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, Carroll did acknowledge that adding a third quarterback to what was expected to be a two-man race would be difficult in terms of adequately splitting the reps to give each quarterback a fair shot. We'll have to wait for the start of OTAs on May 22 to see how much Carroll's declaration actually changed the team's approach to the quarterback position this offseason.

It's also important to note that the only third-round quarterback to start immediately is Joe Ferguson, who started all 14 games for a 1973 Buffalo Bills team that ranked dead last in passing offense as O.J. Simpson became the first player in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards.

That said, Wilson confirming what the front office saw on tape to warrant a top-75 pick, enough to where Carroll needs to "to see where he fits in with these guys," could be bad news for Jackson's long-term future in Seattle.

Jackson was a logical free agent signing in 2011 as his familiarity with first-year offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell helped the Seahawks' offense transition to a new system following the lockout. And Jackson admirably played through a partially torn pectoral muscle to post the best statistical season of his six-year career.

But that performance was not enough to keep the Seahawks from signing Flynn to a three-year, $19.5 million contract that contained $10 million in guarantees (an amount that exceeds the total value of Jackson's two-year contract from last August) and using a top-75 pick on Wilson, who completed 225-of-309 pass attempts for 3,175 yards with 33 touchdowns and just four interceptions to led the nation in passing efficiency in his one season at Wisconsin. With Jackson due $4 million in non-guaranteed base salary in 2012 and representing $4.4 million in cap savings, not only will he need to hold off a challenge from Flynn for the starting job, but he may have to distance himself considerably from Wilson just to earn a roster spot.

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