There is much speculation that the Green Bay Packers are interested in signing running back Steven Jackson this offseason. Jackson would be a phenomenal addition to the team and the Packers must do everything they can to acquire the free agent before another organization, such as the Atlanta Falcons, gets to him first.
General manager Ted Thompson is most likely debating whether he should pull the trigger on the deal or stick true to his roots and give the running backs he has drafted a shot. James Starks, Alex Green and DuJuan Harris have proven talent and could most certainly handle the load next season. However, when a team has a future Hall of Fame quarterback and a high-soaring offense, there is no reason to take chances when a top notch veteran running back can be acquired.
What has been the Packers’ downfall the past two seasons?
They have relied heavily on draft picks and passed up on prime opportunities to snag free agents that could have propelled the team to another Super Bowl berth. Granted, the superior draft selections are exactly the reason why Green Bay was victorious in Super Bowl XLV, along with the unbelievable play of Aaron Rodgers. However, certain free agents could have gotten them over the hump in 2012 when one of their inexperienced players could not.
I believe Thompson and the Packers have done a superb job in recent years building a team through the draft. This is also not a slight towards the team’s talented running backs. It is simply a request to become the best of the best in the NFC and ultimately the NFL in 2013. Signing Jackson to a multi-year deal would accomplish this by giving Rodgers another weapon to an already loaded offense.
One of the reasons Rodgers was the most sacked quarterback in the league last season was because there was a lack of a quality run game. It is true Green Bay ranked 20th in the NFL in rushing yards per game (106.4), but it is also true that he was the team’s second-leading rusher. Without him, they drop down to 27th in the league.
If Rodgers were given a talented running back such as Jackson, the possibilities on offense would be endless. Play-action, something the Packers pride themselves on, would be so much more effective and Green Bay could actually convert third and short without having to pass.
The 29-year-old Jackson has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in eight consecutive seasons. He is a powerful back who bulldozes through defenders and is capable of overcoming a poor offensive line with his ability to gain positive yardage when all doubt is lost.
Thompson may be questioning whether Jackson is worth the money, but how can one put a price on the possibility of winning another Super Bowl?