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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Bernie Bytes: Why Jackson Is Available

    Bernie Bytes: Why Jackson is available

    42 minutes ago ē BY BERNIE MIKLASZ, Post-Dispatch Sports Columnist

    Letís talk about Steven Jackson and trade rumors. I have several points to offer:

    ē First of all, I have no idea if any team has pitched an offer to the Rams for SJ39. So this is all hypothetical, and pretty much useless, unless we know exactly what the Ramsí options are.

    ē One national outlet apparently reported that the Dallas Cowboys would be willing to give the Rams a pair of second-round draft choices for Jax. I find that hard to believe given Jacksonís advanced RB age (29); his freedom to become a free agent after the season; and the Ramsí low leverage. However, if thereís anything crazier than offering a pair of deuces for Jackson, it would be this: Les Snead and Jeff Fisher rejecting such a trade. A pair of No. 2s for Jackson? Take it and laugh at the Cowboys. But again: I canít believe thereís any substance to the rumor.

    ē Green Bay is a potential fit, but Packers GM Ted Thompson isnít the type to casually throw draft choices around. The Packers have benefited from outstanding drafts with Thompson in charge; picks are precious commodities to him. So even if the Packers do make an offer, itís unlikely to amount to much.

    ē Is Jackson expendable? Of course he is. Iím a Jackson fan. I have admired his positive attitude and impressive consistency in production over the years; this is one of the best bad-team players in NFL history. Jackson has never been fully appreciated here, and I donít know why. As I have said before: to hold the losing years against him is absolutely insane ó unless you have proof that Jackson was responsible for drafting the players and destroying the teamís roster over the last decade.

    ē Jackson, however, is expendable simply because heís no longer an essential player. Heís no longer a franchise back. This doesnít mean that his skills have eroded in a dramatic way. But Jeff Fisher is doing things differently than his predecessors. Heís using a time-share deployment at running back. Jacksonís workload has been reduced, as the Rams continue to give a meaningful role to rookie RB Daryl Richardson. This new system has been misinterpreted by some. Fisher isnít splitting the carries because heís down on Jackson; the coach is just a believer in the current NFL philosophy of using two backs instead of one. So in that context, Jacksonís presence isnít nearly as vital as it used to be.

    ē Jackson is averaging only 13.5 carries per game this season; 21 NFL running backs have averaged more rushing attempts per game this season. The 13.5 carries are the lowest for Jackson since his rookie year (2004) when the Rams still had Marshall Faulk. In the ensuing seasons, through 2010, Jackson never averaged fewer than 17 rushing attempts per game. And he ranked second in the league in average carries per game (20.6) in 2010; third (21.6) in 2009; and fourth (21.1) in 2008. In 2011 Jacksonís carry rate dropped slightly to 17.3 carries per game, and now thatís down to 13.5 under Fisher.

    ē Jackson is averaging 50.4 yards rushing per game this season, which ranks 24th in the NFL. As much as I respect Jackson, I just canít sign off on the premise that heís irreplaceable or too valuable to trade. Not when (A) his role already is reduced; (B) he can become a free agent after the season; (C) the decrease in playing time doesn't justify SJ's large salary and (D) we have strong evidence that shows the historical decline of RBs, based on age.

    ē I included this info in a Jackson column that I wrote before the season; itís good to take a look at it again to take note of what the Rams and Jackson are likely in for as he moves into his age 30 season in 2013 Ö

    Number of aging backs with 1,000-yard seasons in NFL history:

    At age 29 Ö 86 seasons of 1,000 or more yards.

    At age 30 Ö the number of 1,000-yard season drops to 44.

    At age 31 Ö the number of 1,000-yard seasons plummets to 22.

    At age 32 Ö the number sinks to 11.

    The arrow is heading in one direction here, so letís be honest about that when we evaluate Jacksonís viability as he moves forward in his career.

    ē I donít know what would be considered a good, or acceptable, offer for Jackson. Personally, I would take a fourth-round draft pick. Smart teams can find very good players in the fourth round. Between the 2000 and 2011 drafts, 13 players taken in the fourth round made it to at least one Pro Bowl, and that includes three RBs. And of the fourth-round picks, 39 became their teamís primary starter for three seasons or longer. Heck, the Rams appear to have found themselves a good WR this year in the fourth round in Chris Givens. There have been some notable RBs taken in the fourth round; the list includes Brandon Jacobs, LeíRon McClain, Leon Washington, Darren Sproles, Marion Barber, Roy Helu, Robert Turbin, Lamar Miller, Delone Carter, Tashard Choice Ö

    Iíll be surprised if the Rams move Jackson. But if it happens, thereís really no reason to be upset. Thereís also no reason to take joy in seeing him go. Jackson has been an outstanding Ram under trying circumstances.

    Thanks for reading...

    ó Bernie


  2. #2
    sosa39rams's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Why Jackson Is Available

    If we got offered two 2nd round picks from the Cowboys I'd throw up in joy. Imagine how rich we would be. We could fill so many holes with all the 1st's and 2nd's we'd have. I don't believe it because its too good to be true, so w.e. Lets take a 4th and be happy with it.


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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Why Jackson Is Available

    I love me some Steven Jackson, but if the Cowboys are dumb enough to give us two 2-rounders for him I'd do it in a heartbeat. Hell, I'd be surprised if someone gave us one 2-rounder for him. Either way we need to trade him and get something in return for him. Truth is we're not going to the playoffs this year anyways so why hold on to him.

  4. #4
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Why Jackson Is Available

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    If we got offered two 2nd round picks from the Cowboys I'd throw up in joy. Imagine how rich we would be. We could fill so many holes with all the 1st's and 2nd's we'd have. I don't believe it because its too good to be true, so w.e. Lets take a 4th and be happy with it.
    Either this offer was made 4 years ago, or "cocaine is a helluva drug" in Dallas.

  5. #5
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Why Jackson Is Available

    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    Either this offer was made 4 years ago, or "cocaine is a helluva drug" in Dallas.
    I prefer the latter.


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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Why Jackson Is Available

    I'd hate to see SJax got to the boys, but the pair of deuces would ease the pain...
    This space for rent...

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