St. Louis Rams: The Rams Should Trade Steven Jackson

David Heeb@@DavidHeebCorrespondent IDecember 5, 2011

ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 20: Steven Jackson #39 of the St. Louis Rams looks on from the bench in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at the Edward Jones Dome on November 20, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Seahawks beat the Rams 24-7.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Steven Jackson is a warrior, a beast, a one-man wrecking machine. Jackson runs the football as if his next meal depends on it. Jackson plays hard on every down, on a bad football team, and he never complains.

In an era where running backs are specialized, Jackson is one of the last of a dying breed—the every-down, smash-mouth, run-it-down-your-throat back.

After eight seasons playing for the worst run franchise in professional football, the St. Louis Rams owe Jackson something. They should do him a favor.

The Rams should trade Jackson.

The Rams are two or three years away from being the type of football team that can challenge the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals, much less the San Francisco 49ers, in the NFC West.

Jackson has about a million miles on his odometer after eight seasons running against eight-man fronts, and behind pathetic offensive lines, for the lowly Rams.

How much could any man have left in the tank after that kind of beating?

By the time the Rams get competitive, Jackson will be in decline as a football player. The Rams should move him now, while he still has value to a contending team that needs a running back. There are several teams out there that are just one running back away from being able to challenge for a Super Bowl.

Think about Jackson running the football, making that eighth man come into the box against the New England Patriots. Imagine Jackson lined up behind Matthew Stafford in Detroit, flanked by Calvin Johnson, Titus Young and Brandon Pettigrew.

Green Bay would have to think twice about how to defend that combination.

Jackson would get to finish his career on a good football team, and he could actually help the Rams win by being traded. The Rams have so many roster holes that the best way for them to move forward would be to acquire a lot of draft picks. Jackson is the team's most obvious trade chip.

Of course, we would need somebody other than Billy Devaney making those draft picks, but that is another discussion altogether.

If the Rams could gain a second- and fourth-round pick for Jackson, I would make that move in a heartbeat. The Rams could use that second-round pick to maybe pick up a running back like Montee Ball out of Wisconsin, or a linebacker that could actually tackle.

Either way, the Rams would be giving themselves a chance to improve going forward. They would be adding talent to a roster that is starving for good football players.

As much as I would hate to see him go, the Rams need to trade Jackson. It would be a win-win for the team and the player.