SEATTLE — The Seattle Seahawks gave veteran guard Gabe Jackson a new three-year, $22.575 million contract after acquiring him in a trade with the Las Vegas Raiders earlier this month, sources told ESPN on Tuesday.
Seattle essentially ripped up the two years that remained on Jackson’s contract with the Raiders, which the Seahawks inherited when they acquired him for a fifth-round pick on March 17. He was previously due base salaries of $9.35 million and workout bonuses of $250,000 in each of the next two seasons before entering free agency in 2023.
Now, Jackson gets $10.075 million this year — a $9 million signing bonus and $1.075 million in base salary — along with $6 million in 2022 and $6.5 million in 2023. He’s set to enter free agency in 2024.
Jackson’s new deal significantly reduces what would have been a $9.6 million salary-cap charge for 2021, something the Seahawks had to do given their cap constraints. OverTheCap.com has the team at more than $1 million above the spending limit, though that accounting doesn’t reflect the savings from Jackson’s new contract or the costs of some of their other signings whose details have yet to be reported.
Jackson said in a videoconference with Seattle-area reporters Tuesday, in his first public comments since the trade, that his contract was extended but did not provide any details. The 29-year-old Jackson, who spent his first seven seasons with the Raiders, likened his new start in Seattle to the feeling of having just been drafted.
“It feels like I’m a rookie all over again,” he said. “You get to go somewhere, meet new people and just start over.”
As for his exit from the Raiders, Jackson said a contract dispute was part of it but declined to go into detail.
The Seahawks’ trade for Jackson carried added significance in light of quarterback Russell Wilson‘s public lobbying for the team to improve his pass protection. Jackson ranks 18th in ESPN’s pass block win rate as a guard over the past two seasons. Pro Football Focus did not attribute a single sack to him last season.
“He was excited,” Jackson said when asked about a conversation he’s had with Wilson since the trade. “I don’t know if he was as excited as me, but we’re excited to work together.”
Jackson is the lone addition the Seahawks have made this offseason to their offensive line, which returns four starters from last season in left tackle Duane Brown, center Ethan Pocic, right guard Damien Lewis and right tackle Brandon Shell. However, the Seahawks could continue to look for someone to compete for the starting job at center after bringing Pocic back on a one-year deal worth $3 million guaranteed. It’s also not clear which guard spot Jackson will play. He played on the left side his first two seasons, then moved to right guard in 2016 and has been there since.
He said he and the team haven’t discussed in depth which position he’ll play but that he’ll do whatever the team wants.
“I know this is a great group of offensive [linemen],” he said. “I’ve watched them play and I’m just excited to play with them because I know we can be great.”
Jackson was asked if Wilson’s comments about his pass protection put Seattle’s offensive line under the microscope.
“I wouldn’t say that,” he said. “As an offensive lineman or a player in general, I feel like you’re always under the microscope. But the best thing you can do is just be yourself and work hard, take coaching and just do your best. And if you do everything right, you train right, you practice right and all that, it’ll pay off on Sundays. Just do the small things.”