Now that news has surfaced that the St. Louis Rams will allow workhorse running back Steven Jackson to void his contract at the end of the season, the rumors will undoubtedly begin to swirl about possible trade partners. If the team wants to move Jackson before the deadline, swift action will be necessary. General Manager Les Snead has already proven that he can make deals happen with the pre-draft trade for Robert Griffin III, but what can the team expect in return for Jackson in a possible trade?
A deal like this is really unprecedented. When former All-Pro running backs wind up with other teams, it generally happens when a contract expires rather than via trade. Getting rid of Jackson won’t be as easily as it would have been a decade ago either as the running game has been somewhat phased out in the current NFL where passing dominates.
There are still some potential suitors for the Rams to work a deal. The Washington Redskins immediately come to mind with Mike Shanahan and his zone blocking scheme. They have the third-highest run/pass percentage in the league at 49.45%, nearly an even split. Rookie Alfred Morris has been solid in the lead role, but Jackson could be a difference maker to put that team over the top. The Rams have already grabbed a lot of Washington’s future draft choices, but clearly the rapport is there between the two front offices and maybe they could work some magic.
Another team might be the New England Patriots who are always stocked up on draft picks and could really use a consistent running threat lined up behind Tom Brady in the backfield. Giving Brady another weapon like Jackson would make the Pats an awfully scary match-up for anyone. Bill Belichick just may consider an inquiry about Jackson before the post-week 8 deadline.
For the Rams, they have plenty of draft picks stocked up already, but if Jackson is unhappy, moving him would be the right thing to do. His offensive role has diminished a bit and the team does have two rookie backs that they are high on in Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead in waiting. There may be a lot of wear on Jackson’s tires, but some team just might have to take him for a test drive and make the Rams an offer they can’t refuse.
Who will it be? The Redskins, the Patriots, some other team? It will be fun to see it all play out!
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