The trade, first reported on ESPN.com on Friday, gave the Seahawks the 124th pick in the draft. Seattle selected guard Mansfield Wrotto out of Georgia Tech with the selection.
Jackson, a seven-year pro who spent his entire career with the
Seahawks, gradually fell out of favor with Seattle general manager
Tim Ruskell in recent months amid injuries and attitude concerns.
But with few tempting offers for Jackson, the Seahawks
improbably helped the 49ers -- who beat NFC West champion Seattle
twice last season -- at San Francisco's leanest position.
"You know that makes it that much sweeter that I can go back
and face my old team," Jackson said. "I've been looking forward
to becoming a 49er ever since I heard the talk about the trade."
Jackson's tenure in Seattle included three 1,000-yard seasons
and 47 touchdowns, but also several skirmishes with team brass
about his contract, which runs through 2009. Jackson felt he had a
handshake deal with former team president Bob Whitsitt to improve
his contract -- but when Whitsitt was fired and Ruskell was hired in
early 2005, no changes were made.
Jackson had a truculent attitude toward offseason workouts, and
he also missed 13 games over the last two seasons with injuries.
"Ever since I have been here, we all know he has not been
happy," Ruskell said. "We want you to want to be here. We want
you to be happy to be a Seahawk and work well with your teammates.
That's what we want, and we just never really seemed to get to that
"Yeah, he is a good player, we all know that, and it wasn't
about the catches and the yards, but it just never felt comfortable
as a fit."
Ruskell said the 49ers' interest in Jackson didn't intensify
until just before the draft. Jackson passed a physical in Santa
Clara and visited with 49ers coach Mike Nolan on Saturday, and the
Seahawks agreed to the trade Sunday morning.
It was a less-than-optimal solution for Seattle coach Mike
"I would have preferred he not be traded to a division
opponent," Holmgren said.
Jackson caught 63 passes for 963 yards and a career-high 10
touchdowns last season. He was leading the NFL in touchdown
receptions late last season before he missed three games with turf
Seattle signed Nate Burleson to a seven-year, $49 million deal
before last season. The Seahawks then acquired Deion Branch from
New England in September and signed the former Super Bowl MVP to a
$39 million contract.
Jackson could tell Ruskell had soured on him months ago,
particularly on issues around his $25 million, six-year deal signed
before the 2004 season.
"I was promised certain things and I was slated on certain
things, and when the new regime came in, they didn't really want to
hear that," Jackson said. "Tim Ruskell is just going in a new
direction. He brought in a good player in Deion Branch. He brought
in a good player in Nate Burleson. I guess he really liked those
guys, and I wasn't one of his guys."
Said Holmgren: "Darrell wouldn't at times make it real easy.
It's like your child every once in a while, when they are little,
and they are pouting around and angry. They kind of act a certain
way, and you put up with it for a while. And then you say, 'Stop
"That's kind of what happened."
Jackson joins free-agent signee Ashley Lelie, veterans Arnaz
Battle and Bryan Gilmore and third-round pick Jason Hill in the
49ers' receiving corps. Jackson said he intends to participate in
the 49ers' minicamp next weekend to get a quick start on the open
competition for both starting spots.
"He gives us a receiver that's proven in the NFL," Nolan said.
"He's very productive. He's in the division, and that's important.
He's going to compete with Arnaz, and we'll see how that goes. That
will be interesting."
The 49ers were desperate for a top-flight receiver after cutting
Antonio Bryant earlier in the offseason, and several 49ers have
prior experience with Jackson. Backup quarterback Trent Dilfer
threw passes to Jackson while both were in Seattle, and personnel
chief Scot McCloughan previously was a Seahawks executive.
Jackson is due to make $3.25 million in base salary this season.
He said the trade included no major changes to his contract.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.