The latest hot topic around the NFL has to be the rumor mill involving St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson. In December, Jackson hinted at retirement, but now he's stated that he would like to finish his career with the Rams. There is also the buzz that he will void his contract and test the free-agent waters.
So, which is it, Jackson?
Most NFL experts believe that Jackson will void his $7 million contract and fully explore his options as a free agent. If that were the case, Jackson would have quite a few suitors looking to score a consistent 1,000-yard runner who has size and durability and could be an on-field leader.
Keeping in mind that Jackson has been a workhorse for the Rams, he may still be able to provide quality carries for another two years, as he will be going into the 2013 season at 30 years of age.
The Rams would love to retain Jackson if they could work out a restructured contract with his agents so as not to count as much against their salary cap this year.
The ball, however, remains solely in Jackson's court. Front-running teams that could jockey for position to sign the talented runner include the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Green Bay Packers and, possibly, the Cincinnati Bengals.
Out of those teams, the Broncos, Packers and Bengals would have the only chance at signing Jackson, being that he wants to go to a contender for a chance to win now.
If you were to look at all playoff teams from this past year, these three would be upgraded with Jackson at the position. However, only the Packers and Broncos give Jackson a realistic shot at a Super Bowl ring. Sorry, Cincinnati.
As this rumor mill keeps turning, the one interesting thought to keep an eye on is just how much winning a title means to Jackson. This is where loyalty and the need for a championship split hairs. We will just have to sit back and wait to see if Jackson is going to call our bluff.