There aren’t that many trades in the NFL during the middle of the season, or at least big ones. Still, the names of Steven Jackson of the St. Louis Rams, DeAngelo Williams of the Carolina Panthers and Felix Jones of the Dallas Cowboys seem to be creating some sort of interest with various teams around the league.
Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams
The Steven Jackson rumors are rumors. He’s our running back and we’re not calling around, nor are we getting calls for that matter. Put that to rest.
That’s what Jeff Fisher, head coach of the Rams, had to say about the matter. Still, this won’t die down. Rumors suggest that Jackson, used to being a single back that gets a big share of the carries, isn’t pleased with having to share his role with the surprising Daryl Richardson, who is averaging 5.4 yard per carry this season. Jackson has 403 yards on 108 carries, averaging 3.7 and scoring one touchdown so far.
The thing that has many convinced that Jackson will be traded is his contract, due $10.7 million through the end of the 2013 season — $3.7 for the rest of this year, $7 million next season. With a better offensive line than he has playing for the Rams, he can still do some serious damage for a year or two, carrying more than 8 seasons of rushing, including 7 consecutive 1000 yard seasons, on his legs.
Who might take him? The Dallas Cowboys, how have DeMarco Murray more injured than not and the Arizona Cardinals, who don’t have any kind of running game to help their limited quarterbacks, look like the best options.
DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers
Four years ago DeAngelo Williams let the NFL in touchdowns, scoring 20 in both rushing and receiving. Since then he’s had one 1000 yard season, a season he’s missed to injury (most of it) and now relegated mostly to a second string running back behind Jonathan Stewart, while Cam Newton is the guy who runs the ball most of the time anyway.
Like in Jackson’s case, Williams, with 210 yards, 2 touchdowns and averaging 3.4 yards a carry, seems to have a bit more gas in the tank left at 29, into his 7th NFL season. There are a few teams that have appeared interested in him – the Indianapolis Colts, the Arizona Cardinals and the Green Bay Packers.
Felix Jones, Dallas Cowboys – Entering his fifth NFL season, Felix Jones just isn’t going to turn into what the Cowboys expected him to when they picked him in the first round of the 2008 draft coming out of Arkansas. Injuries have taken a quick toll on his speed, and Jones, who averaged 8.9 yards per carry during the six games he played on his first season has yet to break the 1000 yards mark in a season and is averaging only 3.4 yards per carry. The Cowboys are looking for a back they can trade for, while promoting Phillip Tanner and Lance Dunbar ahead of Jones, waiting for DeMarco Murray to be healthy again. The problem is finding willing shoppers for Jones.
Jared Cook, Tennessee Titans – Jared Cook, the Titans’ tight end who hasn’t been seeing enough playing time this season (half of the offensive snaps) because their need for a more blocking kind of TE most of the time has led the player, who becomes a free agent when this season ends, to ask for a trade. While the Titans aren’t really willing to let Cook go at the moment, being their third leading receiver with 373 yards on 28 catches (3 touchdowns), knowing he’s disgruntled and the fear of losing him for nothing might make them change their mind before the Thursday deadline.