The Cincinnati Bengals, along with a few other teams, are reportedly interested in free agent running back Steven Jackson, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter.
Jackson's athletic blend of speed, power and pass-catching ability would work well with running back Jacquizz Rodgers' skills. Jackson is also reportedly coveted by Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Green Bay.
Jackson has been the main force behind the Saint Louis Rams' offense for nine years. He has carried the ball 2,395 times for a total of 10,135 yards and 56 touchdowns. Even though the Rams haven't found much success while Jackson has been carrying the ball, Jackson has been the model of consistency, with eight straight 1,000-yard seasons.
The Bengals are in need of a running back to complement BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who excelled last year, especially as a short-yardage back and in the red zone. Most draft analysts believe that they'll target a complementary back in the upcoming draft with one of their picks in the first three rounds.
Jackson may not be the complementary back that the Bengals are looking for, but there's really no question that he's not an upgrade from Green-Ellis. He has, after all, been one of the best backs in the NFL over the last decade.
Jackson voided out his contract with the Rams and opted to become a free agent heading into the 2013 season. There several teams that would like to sign him for the remainder of his career as he's sure to boost almost any offense's run game.
This could mean nothing. This could be a smoke screen and nothing more. However, it's interesting that the Bengals, who traded back, giving up Jackson to the Rams and selecting Chris Perry in the first round of the 2004 draft, are rumored to want to bring the talented back to Cincinnati now.
Is 10 years late too late?