Now that the St. Louis Rams are on the bye week, the trade rumors are going to swell to a fever pitch surrounding running back Steven Jackson. Reports have already surfaced that the team is fielding a number of different offers from various clubs, but will they actually pull the trigger and make a deal prior to Tuesday’s deadline?
Trades in the NFL are a rare thing, but this sort of deal makes a lot of sense for both parties if the Rams can find a contender with a hole at running back. Several teams come to mind as the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, and Green Bay Packers have all dealt with injury issues in the backfield this season. Obtaining a workhorse back like Jackson would open up another dimension for these clubs to make a serious playoff run.
What could deter teams from dealing for Jackson however is his undeniable lack of productivity thus far this season. With just 403 yards rushing and one lone score halfway through the year, Jackson is on pace to fall short of the 1,000 yard barrier for the first time since his rookie season in 2004.
Clubs could ignore that however with the Rams turning to more of a timeshare in the backfield with rookies Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead more mixed in to the action. Jackson has only amassed 108 carries to this point which also has him on pace for a career low in carries since his rookie season.
After just 23 yards on seven carries in London on Sunday, it seems more and more likely that Jackson will be fazed out of the Rams’ offense entirely by the end of the season. There is clear changing of the guard with the new regime in St. Louis and Jackson doesn’t appear to be a part of their future plans.
While the leverage seems to be on the side of the teams interested in acquiring Jackson, if the Rams can get two or more teams bidding up the price for the veteran back, they could still get a handsome return in draft picks for his rights. Deals can get done in desperation as the trade deadline gets closer and if any of the aforementioned contenders get into a bidding war, the Rams just may be pulling the trigger on a big deal by 4PM ET Tuesday.
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