Two days after acquiring defensive lineman Kentwan Balmer from San Francisco, the Seahawks have traded Lawrence Jackson, their own 2008 first-round draft disappointment, to the Detroit Lions.
In return, the Seahawks will receive an undisclosed 2011 draft choice from the Lions, likely similar compensation to the sixth-round pick they sent to the 49ers for Balmer.
Though head coach Pete Carroll said Monday that Balmer's acquisition had nothing to do with Jackson since the two don't play the same spot in Seattle's new defensive scheme, the two trades turn into a flip-flop of players who have failed to live up to their expected potential.
Jackson was selected with the 28th pick in the first round in 2008, with Balmer going one spot later to the 49ers.
Jackson started 24 of 31 games played in Seattle with 61 tackles and 6 1/2 sacks in his two years. He has barely practiced this training camp due to a hamstring issue, finally getting on the field Tuesday to work some at the "Leo" pass-rushing defensive end spot that clearly belongs to Chris Clemons.
Nick Reed is now the primary backup there, along with Ricky Foley.
The move continues the roster churn underway with a new regime. That turnover is more prominent at defensive end than anywhere on the roster as all four players who started at that position last year -- Patrick Kerney, Darryl Tapp, Cory Redding and now Jackson -- are all gone.
Red Bryant and Clemons are working as the starting ends now, with fourth-round draft pick E.J. Wilson and undrafted rookie Rob Rose competing with Balmer at the strongside (five technique) position behind Bryant.
Jackson, at 270 pounds, originally was targeted at the five-technique spot, but was being switched more to the Leo speed rushing spot. But he never has been a pure speed rusher and seemed somewhat caught between positions in the new scheme.
Jackson played for Carroll at USC but the new coach already has shown he's willing to part with his former players, having released LenDale White just a month after acquiring him by trade from Tennessee.
Jackson got off to a good start last year with three sacks in the first two games, but he largely disappeared as the season progressed and finished with just 4 1/2 sacks on the season.
Obviously the new regime didn't see him fitting in to their plans.
"Detroit showed strong interest in Lawrence and this provides him an opportunity to move forward while he is still early in his career," Seahawks general manager John Schneider said in a statement released by the team.
"We want to thank Lawrence for all of his hard work that he has put in for the Seahawks organization over the last several months that coach Carroll and I have been here. We wish him the best," Schneider said.
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