Once upon a time, the San Diego Chargers had a featured running back in town by the name of LaDainian Tomlinson. Over the course of the past decade, it’s arguable that no other running back in the NFL has been as productive as LT was during those years; except for Steven Jackson. Now that the St. Louis Rams workhorse is on the open market, the bidding for him is expected to be fierce, but what if the Chargers decided to add him to their roster?
Clearly SJ39 would be an outstanding addition to a San Diego depth chart which has the underwhelming Ryan Mathews as the lead back and everyone else behind him slated to hit free agency as well. It remains to be seen just what the going rate for Jackson will be, but with a running back poised to hit the dreaded 30 years old in late July just as training camp is getting ready to open, it may be severely discounted.
What a move like this would do is allow Mathews to remain the guy who gets the bulk of the carries on the edge while Jackson would be the between the tackles runner. At 6’1” 240lbs., power has never been an issue with S-Jax. The Chargers have lost back after back in free agency from Michael Turner to Darren Sproles, but an addition like this could make up for all of those missteps along the way.
Other names have been mentioned as possibilities for the Bolts to add in their backfield mix, but Reggie Bush and Ahmad Bradshaw just don’t offer the same type of prowess that Jackson can. What is most impressive about S-Jax despite his age is the durability factor. He has not missed more than one game in any of the last four seasons even though he has plenty of wear on his tires. Mathews and his injury-prone nature would be well complemented by a back that can stay on the field and be consistently productive on a weekly basis.
There is no track record for new Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco to determine whether or not he is inclined to make such a signing on a one-year term. This type of move would really accelerate the team’s ascent from their recent decline and provide quarterback Philip Rivers with a much needed consistent running game threat on offense. Don’t be fooled into thinking Jackson is over the hill just yet. Adding him could be just what the doctor ordered to jump-start what has been a stagnant Chargers offense over the past few seasons.