Notebook: Ex-Vike Tarvaris Jackson feels 'like I'm welcome' in Seattle
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Last July, Tarvaris Jackson was participating in Larry Fitzgerald's annual offseason workouts as a free agent, knowing he was done in Minnesota but unsure where he'd end up because of the NFL lockout.
One year later, Jackson is entering the back end of a two-year, $8 million deal with the Seattle Seahawks and working out at Fitzgerald's camp again in hopes of retaining a starting job longer than he ever did in five uneven seasons with the Vikings.
"It just feels a lot different" in Seattle, Jackson said after Tuesday's workout on the "U" campus.
"I feel like I'm welcome there. It was like home. It's a fresh start for me. I was looking forward to it, looking forward to getting that new start somewhere, and so far, it's been good."
The Vikings drafted Jackson in the second round (64th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Alabama State. He bounced in and out of the lineup for three seasons, starting 19 games in that stretch, then was benched in the preseason two straight years by Brett Favre's mid-August arrivals.
Now 29, Jackson followed former Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell to Seattle, was named the starter entering training camp and completed 60.2% of his passes for 3,091 yards, 14 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and a 79.2 rating in 15 games (14 starts).
The Seahawks signed Matt Flynn to a three-year, $26 million contract in March and drafted Russell Wilson in the third round of April's draft, but coach Pete Carroll has declared it an open competition -- and there is no Favre waiting to swoop in.
"You only know what coaches tell you," Jackson said. "Coaches have been pretty straightforward about the competition. It's all you can ask. Just let me know where I stand. That's all you can really ask for -- know the truth and let the best man win."
Several of Jackson's Seattle teammates -- halfback Leon Washington and receivers Ricardo Lockette and Golden Tate -- have joined him at the Fitzgerald workouts in hopes of entering camp with the timing needed in a Bevell-directed offense that looks a lot like the Vikings' of years past.
Asked if his time in Minnesota is a good memory, Jackson said, "Of course. It was some down times. But I met some great friends here, I got people here that I still talk to now, old teammates that I consider as being friends.
"I wouldn't say it was all bad. I was grateful to get this opportunity to play up here for five years. I lived here for five years. It's all I pretty much new. But now I'm in Seattle, just trying to make the best out of the opportunity. "
Checking out Gordon
The Vikings were one of about 20 teams that sent scouts to the Tuesday morning workout of former Baylor receiver Josh Gordon, the most prominent of eight players who are eligible for Thursday's supplemental draft.
According to multiple reports, Gordon measured in at 6-foot-3 and 224 pounds, posted a 36-inch vertical jump and suffered a quadriceps injury while posting a time of 4.52 second in the 40-yard dash.
The Vikings drafted two receivers in the fourth round of April's draft and seem unlikely to give up a mid-round pick in 2013 to add another rookie to that mix. They haven't made a supplemental draft pick since 1988.
Other players eligible are: Boise State defensive back Quaylon Ewing, Syracuse running back Adam Harris, Iowa State tackle Adrian Haughton, Carson-Newman linebacker Larry Lumpkin, Georgia end Montez Robinson, McMurray receiver Houston Tuminello and TCU running back Ed Wesley.
Vikings vice president Lester Bagley, who spearheaded to team's successful push for a new stadium, was scheduled to be honored on Tuesday night with the Public Policy Achievement (Sports) award at the Leaders in Public Policy 2012 program hosted by Politics in Minnesota and the St. Paul Legal Ledger Capitol Report.
Also to be honored were Gov. Mark Dayton and stadium bill authors Sen. Julie Rosen and Rep. Morrie Lanning.
"Without Lester Bagley, there would have been no stadium bill passed in the last legislative session," Dayton said in a statement issued by the team.