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Steven Jackson: Breaking Down Best Potential Landing Spots for Veteran RB

ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 16:  Steven Jackson #39 of the St. Louis Rams enters the field during player introductions prior to the game against the Washington Redskins at Edward Jones Dome on September 16, 2012 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2013

Running back Steven Jackson will be hitting the free agent market this offseason, and it's time to see which teams would be the best fit for the veteran.

After spending the first nine seasons of his NFL career with the St. Louis Rams, the running back deserves to go to a team that will contend for a Super Bowl next season. 

On Thursday, Howard Balzer reported on Twitter that Jackson will void the rest of his contract.

Nothing earth-shattering, but Steven Jackson has officially voided the final year of his contract.

— Howard Balzer (@HBalzer721) March 7, 2013

He has spent his whole career with the Rams, but now he needs to go chase a championship.

The 29-year-old has rushed for over 1,000 yards in eight straight seasons, and he has at least 300 receiving yards in seven of the past eight years. He has played in fewer than 15 games in only two years in his career.

Most of the teams that are in contention for a championship are focused on the passing game, but there are a few possible suitors if Jackson is willing to take less money to win.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

Out of every team that perennially contends, the Pittsburgh Steelers are also in need of a running back.

Running back Rashard Mendenhall turned into a problem near the end of his time in Pittsburgh and is now a free agent.

Receiver Mike Wallace is also expected to leave via free agency because he is looking for a huge contract, which means the Steelers need to find a consistent back. 

Since 2001, the Steelers have finished outside of the top half of the league in rushing only four times. They have missed the playoffs in three of those four seasons, including last year.

It's no coincidence that Pittsburgh does better when Ben Roethlisberger isn't expected to carry the team. Jackson would be a welcomed addition to a team that was lacking a playmaking running back in 2012.

With the Baltimore Ravens losing Ray Lewis to retirement and possibly Ed Reed to free agency, the Steelers need to capitalize on a team losing its defensive leaders. 

Pittsburgh finished .500 last year, but an improved running game could lead them back to the postseason in 2013.

 

New York Giants

In a story done by Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily Times, Jackson said he would be interested in playing for the Giants if they were interested.

The Giants are only two years removed from winning the Super Bowl, but they have undergone some changes at the running back position. Brandon Jacobs signed with San Francisco after winning the Super Bowl, and the Giants let Ahmad Bradshaw go this offseason (also reported by Vacchiano).

Eli Manning has turned into an elite quarterback, but his receivers have had a hard time staying healthy. Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks both dealt with injuries last season, and Nicks has dealt with numerous injuries in his career.

With a receiving corps that has been banged up, the Giants could use a steady running back.

New York has a great offensive line. They led the NFL by allowing only 20 sacks last season, and the team's running game ranked in the top half of the league.

Bradshaw was going to make $3.75 million this upcoming season, so Jackson would likely have to take a pay cut if he were to join the Giants. It would be a great fit because of who is in the NFC East. The Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys finished 22nd and 23rd in the NFL in rushing yards allowed with over 125 yards per game.

After spending the first half of his career in St. Louis, Jackson should sign with a team ready to win.

 

*All stats are from NFL.com unless otherwise noted

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