The Green Bay Packers running game has been largely non-existent all season. They are near the bottom in just about every rushing statistic there is.
McCarthy always says he looks more at rushing attempts, than yards gained. Well those are down, too. With the offense looking so one-dimensional many believe the Packers are looking for help in the form of a deadline trade. The big name is Steven Jackson. I have to admit the thought of Jackson wearing green and gold got me excited at first as well, but I soon came to my senses and here’s why.
History is repeating itself
Remember in 2010, when our rushing attack led by Brandon Jackson was almost as bad as this year’s team? There was a pretty good running back available that even Aaron Rodgers lobbied Ted Thompson to trade for. His name was Marshawn Lynch. He was only 24 years old, fairly cheap, and begging for another opportunity. Thompson would go no higher then a 4th round pick. The Packers stayed pat then, and it worked out pretty well for them that season.
Stevie is more name than game
Steven Jackson used to be a dynamic, powerful, dual-threat running back. The key word is used to be. Jackson is averaging career lows in yards per carry, yards per game, and touchdowns. The dual-threat receiver out of the backfield is gone. The player that once caught 90 passes in a single year, has 12 this year. Not to mention he is 29, which, for running backs, usually means their best days are behind them.
The high rental rate
Jackson is in the last year of his contract. The Packers have a lot of work to do on the extension front with guys like Rodgers, Matthews, and Raji, so a high-priced running back is not in their plans. Thus Jackson would in essence be an eight game rental. For this eight game rental the Rams want a third round pick, and have the Packers pay the remaining $4 million on his contract.
Thompson values draft picks like they are grandchildren, it’s not going to happen.
The Packers should to be worried more about the offensive line, and it’s lack of depth than running back. Getting Jackson would just be putting a new hood ornament on an old Chevette. The offensive line has struggled all year to open holes for the running backs. This will not change whether we get Steven Jackson or anyone else. There is a much deeper rooted problem than who we have at running back. Until the O-line gets more consistent in all phases, the running game will continue to struggle.
There is a better option
If the Packers make a move on anyone, it should be Legarrette Blount. I can’t hear that name and not picture that touchdown run he had against the Packers last year. That play symbolized how soft our defense was, but it also showed how powerful Blount is. He is only 25 years old, would cost less then $300,000 and rumor has it he can be had for a fifth round pick or later! This would be a far more easier trigger to pull.
Finally let’s not forget about Thompson’s track record. He has shown the uncanny ability to stick to his guns in even the most difficult situations (just ask the old gunslinger). So this is nothing new to him. If he is not interested in making a trade, no one will be able to convince him otherwise.
Given Thompson’s history, I wouldn’t plan on seeing Mr. Jackson walk through the Packers locker room with in the next day or so.