There aren’t that many interesting options this offseason in terms of free agent running backs, but Steven Jackson might be the best of them, and after leaving the St. Louis Rams, it seems that the Atlanta Falcons or the Cincinnati Bengals might be the likeliest of destinations.
There are other teams in need of a running back, but it seems that the combination of cap space and looking to add someone with a bit of a power-back mentality into a dual situation leaves only the Falcons and the Bengals as the most likely options.
Jackson decided, as expected, to void his contract with the St. Louis Rams for 2013; he’ll probably earn less for his next team, whatever his destination may be, but it seems he’s isn’t ready to become a backup or running back by committee just yet, despite getting over 2802 touches through his nine year career with the rams.
Why Cincinnati? The Bengals have plenty of cap-space to offer, and they need another offensive weapon to take the load off of Andy Dalton, who doesn’t seem to be the complete center of things, not yet at least. Assuming Andre Smith is re-signed, the Bengals should have a very good offensive line to run behind once more.
Benjarvus Green-Ellis is an OK back, but nothing exceptional, and won’t be too much of an obstacle for Jackson, quite capable of producing in both running and catching, from becoming the team’s primary back, while Green-Ellis supplies some relief when Jackson’s legs will get tired.
Why Atlanta? The Falcons have gotten rid of Michael Turner (among other players), which means they’re ready for someone to take his place, complementing Jacquizz Rodgers who probably can’t take too much of a load considering his size. The passing situation is even better for the Falcons, which should give Jackson a lot more freedom and less focus from defenses to put up similar numbers or maybe even better to those he’s given the Rams in the last few seasons.