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Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Does Steven Jackson fit in AFC West?

By Bill Williamson

St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson reportedly will void his deal and will become a free agent.

Jackson
It is not a great year for running backs in free agency or the draft. Jackson, who will turn 30 in July, had 1,042 yards last season and he can still prove valuable for some team.

Jackson was due $7 million this year, but the Rams likely would have tried to restructure the deal. Jackson will likely command a one-year deal in the $3 million range. Let’s look if he fits in the AFC West:

Denver: Last week, in an Insider piece, Bill Polian made this connection. Insider Denver could use a running back in some form and I can see the fit. Jackson is said to want to play with a winner, so there’s another fit. But I’m not sure Denver would roll with Jackson, Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno along with the young Ronnie Hillman. If Jackson is signed, I’d think McGahee could potentially be expendable.

Kansas City: He’d be a solid big complement to Jamaal Charles. But I’m not sure if the Chiefs’ need here would fit Jackson’s desires as far as playing time, playing for a winner and salary.

Oakland: Jackson excelled under new Oakland offensive coordinator Greg Olson when he ran the Rams’ offense in 2006-07. Oakland could use a big complement to Darren McFadden. So there are fits here. But can Oakland play Jackson and would he want to go to a team coming off a four-win season?

San Diego: I like this fit. The West Coast native would be a nice pairing with Ryan Mathews and this offense a needed veteran presence. But the Chargers have other needs first.