Will Packers make a move before Thursday’s trade deadline?

Rams RB Steven Jackson
Rams RB Steven Jackson
Will the Packers trade for Rams RB Steven Jackson?

The NFL trade deadline usually comes with boat loads of speculation, before a whole lot of nothing actually happens.

And in the case of the Packers under general manager Ted Thompson, the trade deadline tends to be deafeningly quiet. This year, however, the Packers have a clear need at running back after losing Cedric Benson with a foot injury and there are now two proven runners available for a reasonable price.

St. Louis has been rumored to be shopping veteran running back Steven Jackson for a draft pick, and Carolina is reportedly open to trading DeAngelo Williams.

Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said Tuesday that Jackson wasn’t going anywhere. “It’s all rumors. Let’s put that to rest.” But even if St. Louis was, in fact, shopping the 29-year-old runner, he almost certainly wouldn’t say it publicly.

A trade involving Williams may more likely than one for Jackson, whether it’s the Packers or another team. The Charlotte Observer cites a team source and says, “multiple playoff-contending teams called the Panthers last week to inquire about a possible trade for Williams.”

The Denver Broncos are a logical possibility to land Williams, considering they’re coached by former Panthers head coach John Fox. With veteran Willis McGahee having a mediocre start to 2012 and rookie Ronnie Hillman still developing as a player, the Broncos may be in the market for a potential feature back. And even though Williams is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry this season, he could be a nice fit with Denver’s spread attack.

Whether the Packers are interested in trading for Williams or Jackson remains to be seen. The 2012 season is widely thought to be Jackson’s last in St. Louis, so the door could still be open for a trade despite what Fisher said Tuesday.

Age shouldn’t be much of a factor in a potential trade, considering the Packers went all-in with the 29-year-old Benson to start the season.

In order to acquire Jackson, the Packers would have to pay approximately $3 million of the $7 million he’s owed this season. And also, Thompson would have to determine that Jackson is worth parting with a draft pick, despite the fact that he’ll likely be available as an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Currently, the Atlanta Falcons are the league’s only undefeated team. But so far, there isn’t really one dominant team. The Packers certainly appear to be a part of the current cluster atop the NFL.

So, again, is it worth sending a draft pick to the Rams for Jackson in hopes of winning a second Super Bowl in three years?

Jackson would give the Packers a hard-nosed, between-the-tackles runner and a natural pass catcher out of the backfield. In the four seasons that Jackson has played at least 15 games, he’s never had fewer than 42 catches in a season.

Current starter Alex Green is a solid receiver, but Jackson would certainly give the Packers a more reliable running back for the short-term.

After becoming the Rams’ every-down back in 2005, Jackson has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in each of the past seven seasons. With Benson sidelined until the home-stretch of the season at the earliest, adding Jackson would give opposing defenses one more weapon to worry about.

Jackson is clearly past his prime, but his vision is still far superior to Green at this point of his career.

However, more important than Jackson or Green’s vision, is Thompson’s vision for his Packers in 2012. Adding a high-profile running back midseason wouldn’t fit Thompson’s usual profile.

However, Thompson already diverted from his usual ways a few times in April’s NFL Draft. He moved up twice in the second round for defensive end Jerel Worthy and cornerback Casey Hayward, before moving up in the fifth round for linebacker Terrell Manning.

Thompson summed it up perfectly after his draft-day moves, “I’m not my father’s son, anymore.”

So, while it’s possible that Thompson will make another surprise personnel move before Thursday, don’t count on it. Green has just three starts under his belt, and the Packers’ run game hasn’t been much worse with him in the backfield instead of Benson.

If you’re looking for a fresh face to appear in the Packers’ backfield, look no further than the familiar face of James Starks.

While Starks gets back up to speed with the offense, give Green some time to develop. With the two of them at full strength feeding off each other, the Packers should have a serviceable duo in the backfield until Benson gets healthy.


Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.


26 thoughts on “Will Packers make a move before Thursday’s trade deadline?

  1. This team doesn’t need a tradable player from another team.This team just needs to play to the level of ability and not having a complete unit on the field on either side of the ball isn’t helping to achieve that goal.


    1. I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment. After the gauntlet of tough (controversial) games to open the season, our schedule is in its most favorable stretch now – 3 games against teams w/ little to no offense before the bye. I don’t care how we win this week – pretty, ugly, blowout, squeak by – but we just need to win this game to be 6-3 going into the bye week! Get healthy and make adjustments!

      People who are falling off the Green bandwagon need to remember that he’s basically still a rookie – this week’s game will be only his 11th overall and just his 4th start as a pro. The zone scheme – topic for another day/article – takes time and experience for the back to learn to read and feel. Still, I can’t help but think that McCarthy is just keeping the run game warm until Benson returns in December. I too doubt that a trade will happen, but the line needs to block better. Any possibility that EDc takes the starting C job from Saturday?…

      1. I thought ED-S would have the job prior to the Saturday signing and many thought ED-S wasn’t/isn’t good enough.However,I think some are realizing that Saturday doesn’t have as many good Sundays as expected/hoped of him.

        1. EDC played well last season when he had to fill in for Sitton. I wonder if the bye will provide him with the chance to challenge for the spot. Because Saturday is not getting it done in the run game.

          1. Saturday will not be benched. He’s too smart, and MM wants a vet protecting AR at this point in his career.

            In 06 – EDS would have already been the starter. Maybe even in 08/09. Not now.

            We’ll just have to hope Saturday can hang on.

  2. No way TT is going to trade for a back. Especially not one with the contract of those guys. Good water cooler talk but that is about it. I would not mind trading J-mike for a pick though, or some nice sweatpants, or a really fresh fruit basket.

    1. JMike is going to stay through his 2 year contract. If he doesn’t turn into an All Pro by the end of the year, he gone.

      No one thinks he will, but there is that SMALL chance that he remembers how to play like he did in late 09 and early 10.

    2. You’re living on fantasy Island. I offer you no more than a bag of peanuts for Finley.

  3. TT will not be making a trade to help the Packers get to a SB this year. We will have to live with 2 ypc, against division foes, and the NYG, untill Benson gets back. Our only hope is if Starks adds a spark, or if our whole Oline starts taking massive testosterone replacement theropy and develop into men, pissed off physical guys.

  4. I would argue that the Packers did not “go all in” in terms of signing Cedric Benson. The contract he signed is a 1-year deal for the veteran minimum ($825,000) and contains no guaranteed money whatsoever and also has a clause that allows the Packers to not pay Benson in the event of an injury (I presume he would have to be cut from the team first, so he’s still probably making money right now). I don’t think many players sign contracts that can be voided due to injury (usually it’s the other way around), so that’s a good indication of what sort of leverage Benson had. Simply put, Benson had no decent offers this year and took a crap deal just to play. Luckily it turned out great for both parties as the Packers got a good running back at a discount (for a couple weeks at least) and Benson might even get a more equitable contract from the Packers next year and/or at least a couple more looks from other teams. If Thompson does indeed make a trade, it’s probably going to be someone we’ve never heard of, ala Ryan Grant

    1. Thompson went all-in on signing Benson, meaning he signed a 29-year-old RB and made him the every-down feature back.

      1. Not sure how that constitutes going ‘all in’. Going all in is a poker term meaning it’s one shot at all or nothing. The fact that we are discussing the possibility of signing another RB means we were not ‘all in.’

      2. Signing Benson was like ‘pitching pennies’compared to a real poker game.Benson got signed when the turf toe of Starks became very evident of him missing time.If Benson were an all-in wager,he would have been signed much earlier and paid accordingly.He wasn’t and isn’t and I believe if he is lost for the year so is his salary as I think I read that somewhere.

      3. The idea going around at Benson’s signing was that he was a camp body (which would be indicative of his contract) to give Green and Starks (who were both coming back from injuries) some time off during the pre-season. Ironically Benson ended up being the best of the bunch and became the every-down feature back. Presuming Thompson doesn’t involve himself in the play calling (much like McCarthy doesn’t involve himself in personel issues), Thompson probably had nothing to do with Benson becoming the feature back for the Packers. If anything, based on previous history, Thompson would probably have preferred Green or Starks to become the feature back

        1. Right, okay so Thompson didn’t personally label Benson his feature back. However, it was pretty clear he was going to be “the guy” from the get-go.

          He signed, reported to camp, and was taking all the first team reps in his first week as a Packer.

        2. I don’t think he went “all in” on the signing, but he might have gone “all in” on designating him as the IR/return player.

  5. Don’t do it Ted!!!

    not that I think he will. People are just panicking. which is funny, as the Packers are on a three game win streak with one of the thinnest rosters I can remember.

    My thought is this: every time a young player gets game time on the field he and the team get better. last week alot of young guys stepped up in place of injured starters. they eeked out a win and the team got better. the team is in good shape, they just need to make it to the bye week with a win over the Cardinals.

  6. As great as Jackson or Williams could be for the Pack, it’s not gonna happen for several reasons…
    1.) There are only eight games left and a f.a. would miss this weeks game also. TT would have made a move monday or tuesday.
    2.) Teams want draft picks. Enter Ted Thompson, it’s not gonna happen.
    3.) Alex Green was a third round pick and he’s only 24 years old.
    4.) ACL’s can take up to two years to heal. TT isn’t gonna give up on Green already.
    5.) Blount would be a more realistic option. With major signings approaching for the Packers, the last thing TT wants is a high cost running back.

  7. TT passed on Lynch, a much younger back a few years ago, he’s not signing a 29 year old back now.

  8. I was very disappointed when the Pack didn’t sign Lynch. This would have been problem solved. How happy , and more unstoppable, Rodgers would be. I wonder if TT regrets being “his fathers son” on that non-move?

    1. Yeah. Just think, the Packers might have won the Super Bowl after the 2010 season if they had traded for Lynch. C’mon Ted.

      Forgot, the Packers did win the Super Bowl after the 2010 season. Sorry Ted.

      1. The principle that matters is how well the run game has been since then. Now tell me, how well has it been since then?

  9. Your right, didn’t ultimately end up needed him for 2010, but he was still an upgrade then and would have been an up grade last year, and if you don’t think he’d be an upgrade now, your high. If you don’t think he would have come in handy in last seasons playoff lose to the Giants, your wrong. Teams have caught on to our pass happy offense and if you don’t think a stud running back would put the Packers over the top when teams are daring us to run, your wrong. If you just want one superbowl ring, then I guess your right, Starks and Green are our men for the job. Lynch went to Seattle that year for next to nothing and he ended up signing long term, which is what I was hoping TT would have done.

Comments are closed.