But I think the Rams should trade Jackson.
When I wrote an article earlier this week saying as much, several Rams' fans ripped me a new one. I got called crazy. Other people said I was an idiot.
I still think the Rams should trade Jackson.
I know Steven Jackson is the Rams' best player. I know he is running behind a terrible offensive line. I know that he is running against eight man fronts because the Rams can't pass the ball. I know he is playing for an offensive coordinator that, despite the fact the Rams can't pass, is pass-happy and forgets to give him the ball.
I know all of that, and I still think the Rams should trade Jackson.
I'm not saying Jackson is a bad player, far from it! I know he's not washed-up. Personally, I believe Jackson has a two, maybe three good years left in the tank. That is why the Rams should trade him.
Confused? Don't be! I'll explain.
What good does it do the Rams to hold onto Jackson when they can't use him? The Rams are getting blown out most of the time. What good does it do to have a power running back if you are trailing by two touchdowns before halftime?
I agree with all of the comments I received... the Rams have a terrible offensive line, that if Jackson were running behind a really good line he would put up terrific numbers, and that the Rams probably won't get full market value for Jackson if they trade him.
I agree with all of that, and I still think the Rams should trade Jackson.
Because Jackson probably has two more years as an elite runner. For the next two years, the Rams are still going to be trailing on the scoreboard, their O Line is still going to be below average at best, and Jackson will basically be a non factor for the Rams.
Right now, Steven Jackson is like a Hemi engine in an old beat-up car with a busted windshield, a bad transmission and flat tires. The engine runs great, but that car isn't going anywhere.
Put that engine (Jackson) in the right car (on the right team), and it will make it go. Leave that engine (Jackson) in the old clunker (the Rams), and it's just being wasted.
Jackson's career as a Ram is going to come and go, and neither Jackson nor the Rams is going to have anything to show for it. This is the NFL, not fantasy football. The goal is to win, not just have a guy who can put up stats from time to time.
The Rams are not going to win while Jackson is a relevant player. That is why the Rams need to trade Steven Jackson!
If Jackson wound up on the Detroit Lions or the Cincinnati Bengals (who hold a lot of draft picks), he might take them from "playoff contender" to "first-round playoff bye." Again, it's about winning. Those teams are very close to being very good teams. They might overpay for the chance to be good right now.
Just look at what Atlanta did to draft Julio Jones last year.
When you have a good team, you go for it. When you have a terrible, pitiful, awful team, you stockpile for the future. You keep an eye towards the future, and move any short-term assets in exchange for something, anything that might help you when your team becomes viable again.
I'm a huge Steven Jackson fan, but for the Rams' sake, and his sake, I hope he is wearing a Bengals' jersey next year.