2013 NFL Free Agency: Steven Jackson Wants to Stay With Rams?
Steven Jackson just wants to be wanted. Probably. According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport via Twitter, Jackson “wants to be back with” the St. Louis Rams in 2013, and would like ton finalize his last long-term contract with the team to wrap up his career.
Per Rapoport, the Rams want Jackson to stay, too, and it probably has everything to do with him still being an effective back, as well as the Rams not being completely confident that they have found his successor just yet.
Daryl Richardson or Isaiah Pead are safe bets to eventually succeed Jackson in St. Louis, but neither seem to be fully prepared to be an every down back, should Jackson leave via free agency.
It’s sounding like the Rams may not have to find that out, anyways. Jackson appears to be very interested in finishing his career in the same city he’s always played in, and the Rams turning back into a competitive (and hopefully winning) franchise could have a lot to do with it.
This story is far from over, however. Jackson is scheduled to become a free agent, and once he does, any team could chase him down on the open market. Jackson has lost some speed over the years, but is still a starting caliber back who can be relied on (eight straight 1,000+ yard seasons).
Jackson has hinted at retirement in the past year, so it’s also possible that he’s realized that signing elsewhere for 1-2 years to chase a Super Bowl isn’t a risk he’s willing to take. Instead, it looks like he’d rather play his entire career with one franchise and try to win a title in St. Louis.
Jackson sticking with the Rams is probably best for his fantasy value. The Rams are still a very balanced offense and figure to remain that way, which should allow S-Jax another crack at over 1,000 rushing yards, while keeping him involved in the passing game. A new environment could wear him down or under-use him. Jeff Fisher knows when/how to spell his starting backs properly, and judging off of 2012, should do a solid job in keeping Jackson fresh again in 2013. If he stays with the Rams, he could once again carry solid RB2 value.