Steelers A Possible Suitor For Steven Jackson? Don\’t Bet Your Sweatpants On It Happening

It is no secret that the Pittsburgh Steelers will be looking to improve their running game in 2013 after finishing 26th overall in the league in rushing yards per game and 28th overall in rushing yards per play in 2012. One player that several Steelers fans hope that the team takes a look at in free agency is St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson, who could choose to void the final year of contract just prior to free agency starting.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote about Jackson and his pending situation on Saturday, and he even listed the Steelers as one of three logical suitors for him should he indeed choose to void the final year of his contract, which is scheduled to earn him $7 million in 2013.

Now before you get your hopes up that Jackson will be wearing the black and gold next season it is important to note that even Thomas understands how cap strapped the Steelers will be in 2013. Thomas also points out that Jackson will more than likely be looking for a multi-year deal in addition.

On top of everything else, Jackson will be 30 years old in July, which is a taboo age for running backs, especially ones that have as much mileage on them as Jackson does. The Oregon State product has rushed for over 1,000 yards for eight straight seasons now, but his best years are likely long behind him now.

While many will try to point to Jerome Bettis as a reason why the Steelers should again add another Rams running back during the offseason, you need to remember that Bettis had only been in the league for 3 seasons when the Steelers traded for him prior to the 1996 season. The only similarity here is that both running backs wore a Rams helmet. That\’s it.

I also shouldn\’t have to remind you about the last big name running back that the Steelers added during free agency either. Anyone remember Duce Staley? The Steelers signed him to a five-year, $14 million contract that included a $4 million signing bonus in 2004 and he ended up playing a total of 16 games in three seasons. Staley, who was 29 years old when the Steelers signed him, spent more time in sweatpants on Sundays during his time in Pittsburgh than he did in his uniform. There is no way that General Manager Kevin Colbert runs the risk of that ever happening again.

The Steelers are most likely going to address their need at the running back position early on in the draft, not in free agency. If they do by some miracle add a running back in free agency it will be on the cheap and it won\’t be a big name such as Jackson.

  • Steven Jackson does have wear & tear, however he definitely has a couple good year left in him and with a stronger offensive line coming into this year he’s still an option if we don’t decide to bring back Mendenhall like I think we will. Mendenhall has been unproven the last two years due to injuries so his value has dropped, so if he’s looking for a huge money contract he’s out of his mind.

  • However, Mendenhall still should be given a 2-3 year deal for moderate money to prove his worth. We all know how good of a back he can be, let’s just hope he turns things around if we offer him a contract.

  • Clint Martin

    I think the position should be filled with a young tough guy who can find the end zone.

    Hey guess what Montee Ball is out there. Go figure.

    The kid has scored 77 touchdowns in 4 years. only 4 came from his first year.

  • steeltown

    I do think they’ll draft a RB early between the 2nd and 4th Rds, I do not think they’ll bring anyone else in via FA. They’ll tender Redman and Dwyer and still have Batch to fill out the depth chart.

    One weird claim making its way around is that the Steelers are still interested in re-signing Mendenhall. While I dont really think they should, keep in mind that he came off of a serious injury this past year and really didnt play much and in turn didnt produce much in the stat category. He might actually be relatively cheap at this point should he not get much attention in FA, which is very likely (unless Arians signs him) he could be re-signed for a reasonable amount. He’s still young and he’ll definitely be completely healthy come training camp

  • steeltown

    I agree.. Mendenhall’s overall price tag has dropped significantly due to the recent injuries and lack of production (from lack of playing time) I wonder if the Steelers didnt have this in mind, when deciding to not play Mendenhall much once healthy, thinking his FA price would be reasonable.

    Still, there’s a chance Arians signs him in AZ

  • Buccos9

    I agree that Steven Jackson won’t be coming to Pittsburgh. He is not going to void a contract that would pay him $7 million in 2013 and then give Steelers a discount. He’s too old to sign to a long contract. If the Steelers had that kind of money to spare, it should go to Keenan Lewis, not a 3-year-old RB. I wonder if they would consider trading down in the draft to get extra picks and draft two RBs – one fairly high and one in the sixth or seventh round.

  • I don’t understand the comparisons to Duce Staley. Staley was a solid back during his time, but a few more 1,000 yard seasons by Jackson and we’re talking Hall of Fame. As much as I’d like to have Jackson a step down from 7 mil is asking a lot.

  • LouPGH

    I agree that Jackson won’t be coming to Pittsburgh, but I cannot endorse the re-signing of Mendenhall — he’s not even the best RB on the roster. I understand some of his seasons have been more productive than others, he has excuses for some periods of poor production, and he should come relatively cheap; however, a fresh start is best for both sides. I don’t get the impression he wants to play for the Steelers and I don’t think most Steelers fans want him in Pittsburgh.

  • sean mcmartin

    Another year of the Steeler’s being over the cap and all the rhetoric about not being able to sign anyone. The team always makes adjustments and gets under the cap. The Steelers can sign whomever they want if they shed dead weight. They really need to single out the guys who are lackluster on game day, and show no hope of being a great player and release them.

  • grw1960

    Pretty much agree……But Even if Mendy is resigned, I still would look for the Steelers to draft a RB in the 3d , 4th or 5th round. Especially since Colbert already stated that the Steelers were unhappy with the RB crew production in 2012. If they don’t resign Mendy look for at least 1 RB and maybe 2 RBs in this draft . Or draft 1 RB 2-4 and then sign one RB or more as UFDAs.

  • LucasY59

    I think it is definately a long shot for Jackson to become a Steeler, but if it could work then I think it would be the FA signing that makes the most sense for the Steelers and could have the most positive influence on the team. He would have to take a big paycut and that is not likely, but I think not only his hard running but his Veteran influence would be good for Dwyer and Redman.
    Mendenhall never had a positive influence in the locker room that I heard of, at the beginning of the season I thought that the possibility of Mendenhall having a down year coming off the injury and being less expensive to resign would be a good thing, but his attitude and effort this season makes me think the Steelers are better off without him (I had the same thoughts with Wallace both before and after the season)

  • steeltown

    Agreed. I think they will draft a RB either way too because after 2013 (pending on the production) either Redman or Dwyer or possibly both will not be given a long term contract.. and I definitely see them bringing in 1-2 undrafted RB’s to compete in camp as well

  • LucasY59

    Also with the signing of Jackson the Steelers could Draft a RB around the 5th rd that wouldn’t have to come in and contribute immediately, someone like Marcus Lattimore, Kenjon Barner, or Ray Graham

  • SteelerDave

    In my mind, trade down in the 1st, trade up in the second. Draft Elam and Lacey.

  • Crazy Bone

    I like Jamison from Rutgers (Ray Rice Clone) or Stacy from Vanderbilt. Each can most likely be drafted in 3rd round.

  • Maurice_hill_district

    What’s going to happen when a draftee who is a perfect match for a Steelers position of great need, gets plucked 2 spots ahead of Steelers turn to pick. Gonna regret that last game. Steelers staff shulda started backups we need to get a look at before offseason. But instead even blew that; got starters hurt beating Browns in a worthless game. Hope that doesnt bite us when teams a cupla picks higher pluck who we were eyeing in rounds 1 & 2.

  • Maurice_hill_district

    Injuries arent what caused Mendy to not learn how to hold a football. He proved he cant be trained.

    Mendy can go join his friends the Taliban.

  • grw1960

    yeh I like Jamison in the 3d . 4th – 5th Graham, Burkhead, Wood & Maysonet

  • Ron Smalley

    Can we say EDDIE LACY very loudly in the war room?

  • Shannon Stephenson

    love the Jamison kid

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I like us to go after Lattimore…he will be a home run if he gets over that injury…wouldnt mind Barner and Graham is my least fav of the 3 but wouldnt be upset if we picked him

  • neighborhooddrunkpart2

    No we can’t.

  • anon

    Was going to agree with you until that last sentence.

  • anon

    I think that Mendenhall has worn out his welcome in Pittsburgh. I would be very surprised if he comes back, even if no other team wants to sign him.

  • Bob Loblaw

    Sorry, but with the NFL’s salary cap where it is at, it’s near impossible to have a great player at every position. Having a solid roleplayer is a lot better than bringing in an old vet to eat up cap room once they get hurt.

    Getting the line healthy and keeping them there will do more than bringing in Jackson would, and without the dilemma of finding players to replace those we had to cut to sign him. Our biggest concern should be trying to keep Lewis in town, not bringing in an old running back.

  • Reader783

    I’d love Lacy

  • neighborhooddrunkpart2

    Stepfan Taylor and Le’veon Bell>>>>Eddie Lacy