And what would the day be without an update on the Vincent Jackson saga? The St. Louis Rams are one of the only three teams, so far, with permission from the San Diego Chargers to talk to Jackson and his agent. Do they stand a chance of landing Jackson or will another team, i.e. one with a more realistic shot at the playoffs this year, swoop in with the winning bid?
Washington head coach Mike Shanahan told the press that he would not rule out his team getting involved in the Vincent Jackson sweepstakes. There is no word if Washington has been approved by San Diego to speak with Jackson. If Shanahan is serious, it would add a fourth suitor to the mix along with the Rams, Seahawks and Vikings. There's little doubt that Washington would pay Jackson whatever he wants given that team's precedent for contracts and the absence of a salary cap this year.
Bryan Burwell from the Post-Dispatch joined the chorus of those advocating for the Rams to add Jackson to their depleted receivers, echoing the point about the balance a receiving threat like that would bring to the offense. He also reminds readers of new owner Stan Kroenke's desire to build a competitive team, but if you read the interview Burwell refers to Kroenke notes the importance of building a competitive team for the long term, not just a one year wonder. Which brings me to my next two points...
One of the most important questions that has to be answered in a potential deal for Jackson is the opportunity cost of giving up draft picks and tying up money for his contract. We've discussed that opportunity cost before. If the Rams feel like they can keep Jackson's character issues under control, then he's young enough, 27, to be a factor for a long time.
The other issue at play here is the Rams' need to develop its own young talent. Jackson would take reps away from their younger players, particularly Donnie Avery. However, Avery won't be a factor this season since he's out for the year after tearing his right ACL in the final game of the preseason, and at this point, given his injury history, you have to ask whether or not the Rams can count on him in the future. Mardy Gilyard factors into future plans, and he'll get his reps over the next few seasons. Danny Amendola looks like an important player for the team too, but he's got a specific role that wouldn't be impacted significantly by Jackson's addition. With Avery out, the Rams just plain need help at WR, developing talent be damned. And, other than Avery who was a second round pick, the Rams haven't invested too much in their receivers at this point.
The Rams might need to add another receiver just out of injury insurance. Laurent Robinson practiced yesterday, but he got a scare in week 1. His injury history makes you wonder, and without him, the Rams would be in a world of hurt at that position.
Some food for thought as the Jackson story develops.