Are the Packers interested in signing St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson and do they have the wherewithal to do so? Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Do the Green Bay Packers still have a shot at Steven Jackson?


Sports Illustrated’s Peter King got all of Packers Nation talking Friday when he was caught on video telling St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson that he’s gotta “go to Green Bay” and Jackson saying that it “makes sense.” But the talk today is that Jackson’s best bet will be the Atlanta Falcons, who are looking at replacing Michael Turner who was cut late last week. Chris Wessling, an Around the League writer for posted today that according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jackson’s best move would be to go to the Falcons. However, he also doesn’t write off the Packers and also makes mention of the Denver Broncosas another team that might have an interest in Jackson.

Cedric Benson went down with injury early in the year. Will the Packers bring him back?
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The real question on this end is whether the Packers have an actual interest in Jackson. There have been no rumblings coming from anyone associated with the Packers on any type of interest or even any contact with the runner who is a perennial 1,000-yard rusher. The Packers running game was in a shambles last year after Cedric Benson went down with a foot injury a few weeks into the season. The Packers attempted to push second-year runner Alex Green into the position, but it was clear after a few weeks that he wasn’t going to be the guy. oft-injured James Starks made a brief comeback and showed some of his 2010 abilities, but he, too, went down with injury. The Packers then turned to DuJuan Harris late in the season and he showed some spunk and power – however, most agree he would be most effective as a change-of-pace back and not an every down back. And while the Packers brought back Ryan Grant late in the season, he was mostly ineffective and won’t be brought back in 2013. Jackson would fill that role as he not only runs with power, but catches the ball out of the backfield well. Whether Ted Thompson would want to commit – or whether he has the money to commit – to Jackson is a question only he can answer. The Packers are around $21 million under the salary cap, but when you start adding up the funds that will be needed to sign restricted free agents, draft choices and undrafted free agents, you’re looking at least $7 million. That still leaves the Packers with what might seem plenty of cash until you look at who they have yet to sign – quarterback Aaron Rodgers and linebacker Clay Matthews - for sure – and possibly defensive lineman B.J. Raji.

Will DuJuan Harris be a big part of the Packers running game in 2013?
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Just Rodgers alone is going to command more than $20 million per year and Matthews will most likely get at least half that, so the bank account will be quickly depleted. The only way Thompson frees up more money is if he cuts ties with tight end Jermichael Finley, who’s due a bunch of money at the end of March, or linebacker A.J. Hawk, who will be due more than $5 million this year. Those are intriguing situations which have Packers Nation divided at this time, but will be resolved sometime soon. So, in the end, Jackson may end up going to Atlanta or Denver because the Packers can’t afford it. Though Jackson is right – from a football standpoint, having him in the Green and Gold does make a lot of sense. Stay tuned.

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Tags: Alex Green Atlanta Falcons Cedric Benson DuJuan Harris Green Bay Packers James Starks St. Louis Rams Steven Jackson

  • Mailous Moore

    I dnt kno what’s goin on wit Ced, but we shld cut hawk & get a veteran banger that can move the pile like Jackson, then keep Harris as a change of pace back & hopefully draft a young ptospect that we can develope 4 the future

    • BT

      Marvelous Mailous Moore is spot on. Hawk is gone. Pay SJax and move the chains with the run! SJax is hungry.

  • Aaron Spina

    i’ll say this, and not come back for any angry, ignorant rants about how “stupid” i am:

    alex green was the best RB we had after the o-line shake up against arizona, but his time had run out.

    dujuan harris is alex green minus the size needed to be a full time back. his opportunity was just timed right. green catches the ball well, blocks alright, and runs a sub 4.5 40 at 225 lbs. and he came out of college at an 8+ ypc rate.

    it’s never been our RBs… it’s been the o-line.

  • shavager

    I’ve heard “older players get injured more frequently”–Benson’s injury could happen to any RB in league with a 300 lb lineman falling on foot. Don’t see Thompson going after a FA RB unless he’s el-cheapo for team and Jackson won’t be around long enough for Pack to consider (Falcons knocking now). Would not be surprised to see Benson in camp competing with a rookie selected in mid-to later rounds, and Harris, Green, Saine, Kuhn, and Starks for roster spot. Hawk will get restructured, Brad Jones may or may not be resigned but I don’t think Walden’s coming back at LB and it might be time for team to cut Finley at TE if he’s not willing to take a team friendly restructuring offer. GB has needs to address on defense, signing Chris Canty could give them a playmaker to compliment Raji and Matthews but only at the right price–and that price could effectively eliminate any chance of signing any FA RB’s like Jackson.

  • Nick Cooper

    Jax would give us a legitimate running threat even though he is at the tail end of his career. He will not be asked to carry as much of the offensive load as he was in STL because of our passing game. Play action would be lethal with this bull in the backfield.