Tarvaris Jackson was a second round pick by the Minnesota Vikings in 2006. He played with the Vikings until 2011, when he signed with the Seahawks. A year later, he was traded to the Bills. He returned to Seattle this year as Russell Wilson's backup on the Super Bowl Champions. He has been linked to the Jets both because Seattle signed him while John Idzik was part of the front office and Jets quarterbacks coach David Lee was Jackson's position coach during his time in Buffalo.
Jackson has good physical tools for a quarterback. He has a big NFL arm. He has mobility. He is big enough. Physical tools alone do not make a quarterback, however. Jackson has never shown a great deal of accuracy, touch, or ability to read a defense. If a quarterback is not overly productive, you want him to be able to at least protect the ball, but Jackson does not do that. In the past, I have described him as somebody with the production of a game manager and the mistakes of a gun slinger. That is not a great combo. I think Jackson is maybe a step above Mark Sanchez. He is slightly more productive, and your team could win with him if everything around him is perfect, nothing more.
The fact we are even talking about Jackson as an option shows how limited the options in free agency are for the Jets this year. People, myself included, have called for the Jets to bring in a veteran option to push Geno Smith, but that will be easier said than done. Jackson is what passes for an ok backup in the NFL.
If the Jets brought him in for a deal close to the minimum, I could live with it. He would be better than Matt Simms. I hope there is a way the Jets could do better, but the options to do so will be limited.