Steven Jackson and the Rams' trajectory
March, 8, 2013
By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
Dan from Toledo, Ohio, has a problem with the implication running back Steven Jackson would have a better shot at winning a championship by leaving the St. Louis Rams.
"Nobody knows who is going to the Super Bowl, so Steven better make a good choice," Dan writes. "Who says the Rams can't win the Super Bowl this year? Who thought the Rams were going to be that good in 1999?"
Sando: The Rams are improving, but even they would likely acknowledge other teams are closer to championship form at this time. The bottom line is that Jackson would remain in St. Louis if the Rams were willing to pay him $7 million in salary. They weren't willing to pay him that much. That is why they gave him the ability to void his contract.
What Jackson thinks of the Rams is less interesting to me than what the market thinks of Jackson. Players seeking to discover their value sometimes do not like what they find.
Jackson is 29 years old and his production has slipped in recent seasons. He finished last season with numbers nearly identical to the ones he posted in 2008. The difference was that he played only 12 games in 2008 and 16 games last season.
However, some other accomplished backs such as Curtis Martin, Tony Dorsett, Ricky Watters and Warrick Dunn remained productive at that age. Each topped 1,000 yards rushing for the final two times at ages 30 and 31. Jackson might be able to do the same if given the opportunity. He'll need someone to give him that chance.
Back to the original comment from Dan regarding St. Louis possibly contending in 2013. There is every reason to expect continued improvement from St. Louis even though improving from 7-8-1 in the standings, where the Rams stood in 2012, is tougher than improving from 2-14 in the standings, where the Rams stood in 2011.
Would Jackson, uninterested in a reduced role with St. Louis, accept one for a team he perceives to as closer to contending for a title?
"I'm definitely going to have to [have] open ears and be open to all talks, but I don't know what teams want unless I made myself available," Jackson told SportsCenter on Friday. "Doing so, it was a very tough decision to leave St. Louis, but when we started talking about reduced roles and what they see me in the future with the organization, it has to fit and make sure that I could fit in the locker room as well as other players."