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Tuesday, February 19, 2013
101ESPN St. Louis audio: Miklasz Show

By Mike Sando

Bernie Miklasz asked for an opinion on Steven Jackson's future during our conversation Tuesday on 101ESPN St. Louis.

Jackson is the Rams' career rushing leader. If any one player represents the soul of the Rams, Jackson would be the one. He's put together a string of eight consecutive 1,000-yard seasons for a team that hasn't given him near enough help most of the time.

The Rams had nine players start on their offensive line last season. That total ranked tied for fourth-highest in the NFL. The team had nine starters on its line in 2011 as well. Seven of those nine did not start for the team in 2012. That's 16 different starters on the line over two seasons. The 2012 Rams got eight combined starts at three positions on the line from Shelley Smith and Joe Barksdale, players the team claimed off waivers in September.

Back to Jackson. What does his future hold? The odds seem in favor of the Rams and Jackson parting amicably. The Rams are getting younger and building through the draft. Jackson is scheduled to earn $7 million in salary this season. He can opt out of his contract, a stipulation the Rams granted him when the sides failed to reach agreement on a contract extension last year.

Jackson turns 30 in July. Running backs generally begin declining by about age 27. However, players 30 and older have reached 1,000 yards rushing in a season 44 times. Willis McGahee was the most recent to do it, gaining 1,199 yards for Denver in 2011.