Now that the trade deadline is in the past, the second-guessing will begin for the St. Louis Rams and why they did not move running back Steven Jackson as many figured they might.
First, the team is now facing a fine for not reporting an injury to their ball carrier from their week two game against the Washington Redskins. Jackson first tweaked his groin during that contest and the Rams said nothing during the contest which led some to believe that he had been benched. Following the tilt, Head Coach Jeff Fisher said that Jackson had been injured and kept out for precautionary measures.
Another reason the club could come to regret not moving Jackson is that both rookies Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead seem ready to run the show in the Rams’ backfield. Keeping Jackson just takes carries away from these youngsters that they could use to learn and develop moving forward. His 3.7 yards per carry average is the lowest of his career and will only hamper the offense as the season progresses.
Finally, a team can never stockpile too many draft choices as Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots have shown over the years. Shipping Jackson off for even two mid-round picks would have been a solid franchise-building decision for a team that hit the restart button last offseason. Now Jackson will walk following this year and likely sign elsewhere for 2013 by using his opt-out clause when the year is over.
While the Rams may have held onto Jackson out of sentimentality and just how iconic he has been for the franchise during his near decade with the club, that isn’t a very business-like approach. Once the offensive line heals up a bit, maybe Jackson can start to find more holes and be more productive in the running game, but the team still has two capable rookies who could have taken over if a trade had been executed. Now they are left to wonder what might have been as the year moves on without a deal and potential regret.
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