The Vikings have been expected to part company with quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and now we have official confirmation that that will happen.
Jackson did not receive a restricted free-agent tender offer from the team, meaning that he will be free to leave once a new collective bargaining agreement is in place and free agency begins. This does not come as a surprise given that the Vikings and Jackson both wanted to move on. Joe Webb and Rhett Bomar are the quarterbacks on the Vikings roster and the team also is looking at other possible long-term options.
Jackson has five years of experience in the NFL and thus likely would have been an unrestricted free agent under terms of a new CBA. However, under the old labor agreement he was restricted and the Vikings began issuing tenders (just in case) on Wednesday.
Five-year players such as defensive end Ray Edwards and offensive lineman Ryan Cook received tenders. But Jackson, a second-round pick in 2006, did not and thus he will get an opportunity to get a fresh start elsewhere.
Jackson played in 37 games, including playoffs, in five seasons with the Vikings and made 21 starts. His last start came Dec. 13 against the New York Giants in Detroit. Jackson suffered a foot injury in that game and finished the season on injured reserve. The Vikings went 10-11 in his starts.
Jackson started a career-high 12 games in 2007 but was benched early in the 2008 season in favor of Gus Frerotte after the Vikings opened 0-2. Jackson did eventually get the job back after Frerotte injured his back.
Jackson will be remembered as Brad Childress' guy, despite the fact the Vikings former coach never did fully commit to the quarterback from Alabama State.
Here's a look at the tender offers the Vikings placed on a group of players who may or may not be restricted free agents under a new CBA. These players are restricted under the CBA that will expire at 10:59 p.m. today. A few minutes after that free agency ordinarily would have begun, but that won't be the case this time as owners and players appear nowhere near an agreement on a labor deal.
S Husain Abdullah (three years experience): Second-round tender, $1.835 million
WR Hank Baskett (five years experience): Did not receive a tender and will be a free agent
OL Ryan Cook (five years experience); Second-round tender, $1.96 million
DE Ray Edwards (five years experience): First round tender, $3.542 million
DL Fred Evans (five years experience): Did not receive a tender and will be a free agent.
S Eric Frampton (four years experience): Right of first refusal, $1.275 million
LB Erin Henderson (three years experience): Right of first refusal, $1.2 million
QB Tarvaris Jackson (five years experience): Did not receive a tender and will be a free agent
WR Sidney Rice (four years experience): First-round tender, $3.442 million
DL Brian Robison (four years experience): Second-round tender, $1.91 million
FB Naufahu Tahi (five years experience): Did not receive a tender and will be a free agent
RB Albert Young (two years experience): Did not receive an exclusive rights tender and will be a free agent
Note: In the case of Frampton, the Vikings would get a fifth-round pick back if he signed elsewhere because that's the round in which he was selected. Henderson was not drafted, so the Vikings simply will get the chance to match any offer he receives.