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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Jackson finally comes to his senses

    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    08/20/2008

    At last, Steven Jackson has come to his senses.

    He is returning to Rams Park to honor his old contract. He expects to get back to work Thursday. Jackson will get reacquainted with Al Saundersí offense and begin whipping himself into football shape.


    In return, Rams capmaster Jay Zygmunt will iron out a contract extension that will make Jackson one of the NFLís highest-paid running backs.

    Was that so hard? Apparently it was.

    But at least our Long Local Nightmare is over and Jackson will get ready to play some football.

    This was shaping up as a lose-lose scenario for Jackson. He HAD to come back and rejoin his teammates.

    The Rams held all the leverage. The club had been fining him $15,000 per day, although that becomes a moot point when the new deal is finalized.

    The team didnít have to offer him a new contract this year. The Rams could have forced him to play out the final year on his rookie deal.

    Then the team could have then slapped a ďfranchiseĒ on him for 2009 and kept him from banking the large signing bonus ($17 million to $20 million) players of his caliber usually get.

    What was Jacksonís leverage?

    His absence made the team worse, but how much worse can a 3-13 team get? The Rams have lost with Jackson and they can lose without him.

    His absence hurt the teamís ticket sales, since he is one of the teamís few marketable players. But itís not like his return will cause a fan stampede down to the ticket office.

    For a variety of reasons, Jackson hasnít earned the star power that Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk and Isaac Bruce earned here. And by staging this ill-advised holdout, Jackson added to his unpopularity with many Rams fans.

    By extending his holdout, Jackson only stood to lose. At some point, the Rams were going to take their offer off the table and make Steven honor the contract he already signed.

    The point of extending his deal was to reward him, make him happy and head off a future distraction. But if Steven didnít want to play along, then Rams management could have just moved on.

    Jackson could have sat out half the season, returned to finish out his first contract and then vowed to never play under the franchise tag. He could have forced the team to trade him next year and start over at the position.

    Taking that route would have been brave, but stupid. It would have cost Jackson a small fortune.

    Running backs risk career-threatening injuries every time they play. When they get a chance to bank a large signing bonus, they need to jump at it.

    Their professional life expectancy is short. Passing up lifetime security would have been a really, really bad call. Fortunately for Jackson, he finally figured that out.

    Rams management has been honorable throughout this process. At coach Scott Linehanís behest, Zygmunt has attempted to extend the contracts of key players before they reached free agency.

    One by one, the cornerstone players have been taken care of. (Not everybody felt the love from upper management, as Isaac Bruce will tell you, but the Rams have been more than reasonable.)

    There was no need for this holdout, since Rams management was prepared to do for Jackson what it did for Torry Holt, Orlando Pace, Leonard Little, Marc Bulger and Pisa Tinoisamoa.

    You canít fault Zygmunt for refusing to negotiate during this holdout, since Jackson was under contract. If the Rams gave in on this point, four or five players under contract might have tried to pull the same stunt next summer.

    Where would it end?

    But thatís all a non-issue now. Jackson has returned in time to get ready. If he plays up to his ability, heíll help the Rams win a few games and win back some fans.

    Now the team can worry about other issues, like offensive line injuries, secondary depth and Bulgerís shaky start.


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson finally comes to his senses

    I don't get it? If the RAMS had so much in their favor (all the trump cards) over Jackson as this article spells out. What the heck was Jackson thinking?
    Or was he thinking at all? Was it his agent or maybe sister that needed a wake up call?

    Mind boggling......

    All in all I'm happy he's back.

    Now let's get this train rolling!!!!

  3. #3
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    Re: Jackson finally comes to his senses

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    I don't get it? If the RAMS had so much in their favor (all the trump cards) over Jackson as this article spells out. What the heck was Jackson thinking?
    Or was he thinking at all? Was it his agent or maybe sister that needed a wake up call?
    You answered your own question, big cat.

    He wasn't thinking at all. His older sister told him to do it, and he foolishly trusted her advice.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  4. #4
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    Re: Jackson finally comes to his senses

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    At last, Steven Jackson has come to his senses.

    He is returning to Rams Park to honor his old contract. He expects to get back to work Thursday. Jackson will get reacquainted with Al Saundersí offense and begin whipping himself into football shape.


    In return, Rams capmaster Jay Zygmunt will iron out a contract extension that will make Jackson one of the NFLís highest-paid running backs.
    THIS IS ALL BULL$&!# !!! He isn't returning to "honor" anything.

    First, I do not agree with SJs holding out. The Rams were acting in good faith. Someone is lying. Zyg wasn't going to negotiate until SJ reported.......period. And the above basically says SJ ended his holdout, and now Zyg will iron out an extension. And as I understand things, negotiating prior to SJ reporting would set bad precedent for future players thinking of holding out.

    This excerpt from a story in the Post-Dispatch by Jim Thomas says----

    Once talks broke off on July 25, the first day of training camp at Concordia University Wisconsin, Jackson said there was a long period without dialogue with the Rams.

    "But once things started to recommence late last week, we got it done," Jackson said.

    Once things reached a point, where Jackson felt a new deal was a real possibility, he decided to report. <the 1st offer then should have gotten him in camp - commentary by Richbert88>

    "Things really got hot and heavy (Wednesday), and that's when I booked the flight," Jackson said. "When you're talking about this kind of money, there's going to be some kind of gripes and concerns. In negotiations, no one gets 100 percent what they want, so it was just the two of us coming to an agreement on some things."


    It appears that Zyg and the Rams caved. And though I am happy to have SJ back, I am not happy with this precedent or with SJ for apperantly playing things the way he did. I can't imagine a senario where this is seen as anything but weakening the negotiating power of the Rams organization.

    SJ, I love you, but you also suck! Zyg.....organization.......nuff said.
    Semper Fi!

  5. #5
    KoaKoi is offline Registered User
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    Re: Jackson finally comes to his senses

    I don't see how they "caved." $J reported first. then the contract extension (or new contract) negotiation's resumed. 'least that's how i understand it went down. I guess I'm just not following what 'precedent' you're referring to. could you elaborate?

    Besides, in the article you cite, all the quotes are from $J or a comment from a fan. Of course $J is going to save face and characterize things in a way that favors him or lets him save face. btw, this is Earth... the planet where people lie every day.

  6. #6
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    Re: Jackson finally comes to his senses

    [QUOTE=KoaKoi;239227]I don't see how they "caved." $J reported first. then the contract extension (or new contract) negotiation's resumed. 'least that's how i understand it went down.QUOTE]

    Red text, third line, is reported that SJ says "But once things started to recommence late last week, we got it done,"

    He reported today, "recommence late last week" to me means there were negotiations last week, thus meaning negotiations before he reported, thus meaning Zyg didn't keep his word about not negotiating before SJ reported. I don't see how you can miss this.

    Someone lied. Yeah, so what. I don't normally go with things just because everybody does it. If it was the Rams, they broke precedent. If it was SJ, .........he leaves the impression that the Rams broke they're word, thus the same precedent.

    Either way, I just hope this doesn't cause problems down the road with other guys in the last year of they're contract.
    Semper Fi!

  7. #7
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    Re: Jackson finally comes to his senses

    Zygmunt and the Rams FO caved. They got a deal done in principle before Steven agreed to end his hold out, meaning he knew the terms of the deal and what he was getting before he came back to practice. Also, on ESPN last night, John Clayton even mentioned that Zygmunt got a sign from Jackson that this could and would have carried into the regular season so it was at that point they knew this was serious and began negotiating with him. Jackson got his way as you can tell by the terms of his contract; way higher than what was previously offered.

  8. #8
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    Re: Jackson finally comes to his senses

    In my tired mind -- of waiting and waiting -- I'll look at all this as a botched play by the F.O. and a blatant fumble by Steven Jackson ... that did not lose the season for us. Almost, but not quite.
    GO RAMS!


    All eyes are now on you Stevie! So let's get it on!!!...

  9. #9
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    Re: Jackson finally comes to his senses

    Well, I just hope it's worth it. I remember Priest Holmes and Shawn Alexander. RBs have short lifespans. The Rams may have made a mistake in signing him for so long, for so much

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    Re: Jackson finally comes to his senses

    About F'ing Time. Thats all I have to say. Let's put this behind us now and wait till the opener.

  11. #11
    Josh Guest

    Re: Jackson finally comes to his senses

    I don't think the Rams front office caved, I just think they realized the severity of this situation. we need steven jackson if we are going to win this year. I am happy that we made a smart decision.

    GO RAMS!

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    Re: Jackson finally comes to his senses

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh View Post
    I don't think the Rams front office caved, I just think they realized the severity of this situation. we need steven jackson if we are going to win this year. I am happy that we made a smart decision.

    GO RAMS!
    You crack me up!
    Semper Fi!

  13. #13
    Josh Guest

    Re: Jackson finally comes to his senses

    Quote Originally Posted by Richbert88 View Post
    You crack me up!
    Why is that?? is it my Yoda Avatar?

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