Rams running back Steven Jackson heard all the talk that he might be traded. And it didn’t bother him in the least.
After Thursday’s trade deadline passed and Jackson remained with the Rams, he said that he had paid attention to the speculation, but he wasn’t upset about it.
“I was very aware of the trade speculation and what was going on,” Jackson said. “But one thing about me, and even going back to my holdout [in 2008], I understand that this is a business. And if a particular team has options, or is taking phone calls, it doesn’t mean they want to get rid of me. It’s just the interest of other teams, and seeing what may happen or may transpire with my contract, especially (because) it may be ending at the end of the season. I’m not offended by it, nor am I going to be distracted by it. I’m ready to go into this bye week, get away for the weekend, but come back ready to finish strong these next eight games.”
Jackson will remain with the Rams for the rest of this season, but he’ll have more business to take care of in the offseason. Although Jackson has a year left on his contract at a $7 million salary in 2013, he has the right to void the final year and test free agency, and the Rams also have the option to release him. Considering that Jackson will turn 30 before next season starts, and considering that he’s on pace to finish under 1,000 rushing yards for the first time since his rookie year and averaging a career-low 3.7 yards a carry, it’s highly unlikely that the Rams would want him back at that salary.
So Jackson will either explore free agency or take less money to stay with the Rams. As he knows, that’s just part of the business.