The Seattle Seahawks announced a move this morning, trading defensive end Lawrence Jackson to the Detroit Lions for an undisclosed pick in the 2011 draft.
Jackson, the No. 28 overall pick in the 2008 draft, had failed to live up to expectations for the Seahawks in two seasons with the team. And with the success of Red Bryant converting from defensive tackle to defensive end, along with the addition of Kentwan Balmer from San Francisco, Jackson became expendable.
“Detroit showed strong interest in Lawrence and this provides him an opportunity to move forward while he is still early in his career,” said Seahawks general manager John Schneider.
Jackson started 24 of 31 games with Seattle, totalling 61 tackles (49 solo) and 6.5 sacks. He posted a career-high 4.5 sacks in 2009.
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Jackson had returned to practice for the first time in over a week after sitting out to treat a lingering hamstring issue.
But on Tuesday Jackson said he felt healthy. With the arrival of Balmer and the play of Bryant, the Seahawks had moved Jackson over to the speed rusher Leo position, which did not appear to be an ideal fit for his skill set.
Jackson haad mostly worked at the Leo position with the second and third units. He said it was a position he feels comfortable at, but he also was willing to swing to the other side and play some 5-technique if asked.
“There’s no question that a bigger guy is what they want,” Jackson said. “Can I play that side? Yes. I don’t feel like I need to beef up. I came in at 275. And then when they said, “Well, you can stay at this spot (Leo).’ Then I trimmed down. So it wasn’t a matter of bulking up or not. So I’m pretty much at my natural weight (270 pounds).”
Jackson continues the trend of Seahawks moving east to Detroit. He joins former Seahawks wide receiver Nate Burleson, linebacker Julian Peterson, running back Maurice Morris, offensive guard Rob Sims and tight end Will Heller.
“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,” added Schneider.