As the excruciatingly anti-climatic trade deadline (at least if you’re not a Pats fan) passed at 4 p.m. eastern on Thursday, I couldn’t help but shake my head at yet another short-sighted move by Rams management. One they will come to regret in the offseason. That move?
The decision to keep Steven Jackson.
Hear me out on this one folks. And for all you die-hard Rams fans, I apologize in advance, as I’m sure you really don’t want to hear why he should have been traded.
Sure, he has been the face of the franchise for quite some time now -- plus he is a classy dude and the franchise’s leading rusher -- but all things must pass. Steven Jackson just isn’t what he used to be as a running back, it is something that happens to all running backs as they age. They take an absolute beating, so it’s to be expected, and quite frankly I applaud him for staying as productive as he has, for as long as he has. I wouldn’t be surprised if he still had another two good years of football left in him too. But, alas, he is 29. Sounds young, but in running back years he’s somewhere in his mid-50’s.
Jackson is set to become a free agent at season's end, which will result in the Rams getting nothing for him, and also not getting as good a look at the future of the position as they should with Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson. The Rams are in the middle of a rebuild, and rebuilds generally involve getting younger. At every position.
Nobody wanted his time in St. Louis to end this way though apparently, and they lost out on an opportunity to maybe get a mid round pick. (Wouldn’t be surprised if they could even fetch a 2nd rounder for him.) Nothing says a rebuild like 29 year old running backs though right?
To make matters worse, they aren’t even using him nearly as much as they used to this year. It’s as if they’ve conceded his time with the Rams is almost at an end, yet they refuse to take that next step in the rebuild. He’s on pace for the second fewest yards total in his career, at somewhere in the mid 800s. His only statistically worse season would be his rookie year.
It’s not just what Jackson’s doing, or better yet not doing for the team this season, but the fact that they have Darryl RIchardson playing very well this year. Oh, and a second round pick in Isaiah Pead that figures to get more carries as the season goes on. Two’s company, three’s a crowd, and that’s what they’re left with. An overcrowded backfield that doesn’t give Pead nearly enough carries, and doesn’t let Richardson really breakout and assert himself as a number one back. The numbers are on Richardson’s side too. Richardson’s averaging about 5.5 yards a carry to Jackson’s measly 3.7. Oh well it’s not like mid round picks ever work out anyways, duh. Just ask the 7th rounder slowly (thanks Rams management) supplanting the job from Jackson.