By JOHN WAWROW, Associated Press
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills are negotiating to restructure the final year of Tarvaris Jackson's contract before completing a trade with the Seattle Seahawks to acquire the seventh-year quarterback.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll confirmed the deal had been agreed to by both teams Sunday, but added the trade wasn't completed.
"It has been agreed upon, but there is still a little bit of paperwork to do," Carroll said during a telephone conference call with reporters. "It might be done tonight. It is scheduled to be done."
A person familiar with discussions told The Associated Press that the Bills were in negotiations with Jackson's agent, Joel Segal, to restructure the player's contract. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because neither team has disclosed why the trade had not yet been completed.
"It's close," the person said.
Jackson is scheduled to make $4 million this season, which the Bills deem to be too expensive for a player to fill a backup job.
Carroll didn't say what the Seahawks will get in return, though it's expected to be a mid- to late-round draft pick from Buffalo.
The Bills have no commented on the trade.
Jackson's future was in question with the Seahawks after the team acquired Matt Flynn in free agency this offseason, and after using a third-round pick to draft Russell Wilson in April.
The timing of the deal came shortly before Carroll announced that Wilson would open the season as the starting quarterback.
"Because of our situation, and the opportunity with the guys that we have, (Jackson) deserves a chance to be playing, so Buffalo came after him and hopefully it's a good thing for him," Carroll said.
Jackson sat out the Seahawks' first two preseason games, before getting his first action taking over for Wilson in the second half of a 44-14 win over Kansas City on Friday. And Jackson served as the backup in part because Flynn missed the game due to a sore elbow.
The Bills' interest in Jackson potentially spells trouble for Vince Young in his bid to win the backup job in Buffalo behind starter Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Young, who signed a one-year contract with Buffalo in May, had the edge to win the No. 2 job until he struggled in a 38-7 loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday. Young threw two interceptions, the first coming on his first pass attempt, and finished 12 of 26 for 103 yards passing in playing the entire second half.
Young had been competing with returning backup Tyler Thigpen for the No. 2 job. And coach Chan Gailey has maintained that there's only room for one backup, because the No. 3 job is going to receiver/wildcat specialist Brad Smith.
It would become the latest blow to Young's once-promising career. After leading Texas to win the national championship in 2006, Young was selected third overall in the draft by the Tennessee Titans and eventually went on to earn NFL offensive rookie of the year honors.
The Titans eventually ran out of patience for Young and released him last summer. Young had a disappointing season as Michael Vick's backup in Philadelphia last season.
He's 17-17 as a starter, with 38 touchdowns and 35 interceptions in 51 career games.
Selected in the second round of the 2006 draft by Minnesota, Jackson had an up-and-down five-year career with the Vikings. His most productive season came in 2007, when he started 12 games.
Jackson lost the starting job to Gus Frerotte the following season, and then spent 2009 and 2010 seasons relegated to backup duty behind Brett Favre.
Jackson signed a two-year contract with the Seahawks last year, and was credited for playing a major role in the team's turnaround after a 2-6 start. He posted career numbers in completions (271), attempts (450), 3,091 yards passing with 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Jackson also earned plenty of support among his teammates after playing most of the season with a painful pectoral injury.
Jackson has had his faults, with much of the criticism focusing in on his decision-making and holding onto the ball too long.
There were also times he faltered in the fourth quarter — including late-season home losses to Washington and San Francisco — which contributed to costing the Seahawks a shot at playoff berth.