The St. Louis Rams situation with impending free agent running back Steven Jackson is still murky, but respected beat writer Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch does not expect the Rams to sign a running back in free agency even if Jackson signs elsewhere this offseason. Teams like the Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos could be interested in Jackson’s services, but it sounds like the Rams are high enough on their young running back duo.
Although both second-year backs Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson are undersized and not viewed as potential feature backs, the Rams view both guys as players who can be every-down backs at the pro level. Rams GM Les Snead told Thomas, “Pead toward the end of the year, Daryl at the beginning and middle, proved they can play in the league …They will all have a role. Richardson is going to have a role. Pead is going to have a role. They are all going to have a role and we are going to utilize those roles.”
Pead and Richardson are both explosive, young backs with potential, and Richardson averaged 4.8 yards per carry on 98 attempts for 475 total yards on the season. He also added 24 receptions for 163 yards last season, and I think the Rams can have a viable committee with both guys leading.
Even though Thomas does not see the Rams signing a free agent running back, he went into detail about how former Alabama Crimson Tide feature back Eddie Lacy could be a nice fit for the Rams. It would be interesting to see the Rams go after a running back in the draft, and I think they are better off doing that than signing somebody on the free agent market. They should save a little bit of their cash and roll with a committee of intriguing, young running backs if Jackson is not retained. After all, this organization is high on the prospects of Pead and Richardson. The Rams should go for value at the RB position, and it seems more and more like Jackson won’t be back next season- but it is imprudent to think that they cannot get a deal done.
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