ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- If there is one thing the Albert Pujols situation taught me, it’s that there is no loyalty in sports anymore. None. On either side. No loyalty from team to player and no loyalty from player to team.
It’s all about what have you done for me lately. And how much longer are you going to be able to do that for. The past is just that. The past.
This brings us to the unfortunate but all too familiar situation the Rams find themselves in regarding long time running back Steven Jackson. He came into the league as a highly touted star out of Oregon State in 2004 and has been everything this organization has hoped for.
9496 yards on 2246 carries (4.2 average) and 53 rushing TDs. That kind of production from a running back nowadays is rare. Especially over the long haul.
But if you look back at big, powerful RBs through the years...most don’t stay elite long after the age of 30. In fact, many don’t even stay elite at 30.
Well Jackson is 29 now and it’s quite clear the burst that made him so dominant earlier in his career just isn’t there anymore. He doesn’t hit the hole as hard or as fast as this team needs to be successful in the run game. That much is obvious.
This season, Jackson’s at a career low 3.7 yards per carry so far (403 yards on 108 carries) and is on pace to fail to reach 1000 yards for the first time in his illustrious career since he was a rookie. Heck, 7th round pick Daryl Richardson (5.4 YPC) is having more success running the ball than Jackson is.
Combine the declining production with his price tag - nearly nine million dollars in 2013 - and it doesn’t make much sense to bring Jackson back. This is a new era in Rams football. The old is out. The new is in.
Regardless if you had more than 2300 combined yards from scrimmage in 2006, you’re only going to be around here long term if GM Les Sneak and Jeff Fisher believe you’ll produce in the future.
Running backs are among the easiest to evaluate and draft. Given the amount of picks this team has in the future I’d be shocked if they didn’t take one pretty high next year.
With Isaiah Pead and Darryl Richardson already on board and more to surely join them, there’s just no room for Steven Jackson.
He’ll move on. The Rams will move on. Such is the world of sports.