The Patriots have taken fliers on older, big name players in the past (think Chad Ochocinco, the late Junior Seau, Joey Galloway and Reggie Wayne). These moves rarely pay off, but there’s certainly no hurt in trying.
New England took a look at three-time Pro Bowl running back Steven Jackson on Wednesday, a day after signing Montee Ball to the practice squad and a day after news broke that LeGarrette Blount is done for the remainder of the 2015 season.
Jackson was phenomenal during his career with the St. Louis Rams, racking up eight straight seasons of 1,000-plus rushing yards. But his two years in Atlanta were less than spectacular as he gained 543 yards on 157 carries in 2013 and 707 yards on 190 carries last year.
Jackson was also a tremendous pass catcher out of the backfield during his run as one of the NFL’s elite, having caught 90 balls for 806 yards and three touchdowns during the 2006 season.
He played for Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in 2011 when McDaniels was the OC in St. Louis and rushed for 1,145 yards on 260 carries.
The Patriots prefer backs with sure pass-catching hands as Shane Vereen played a huge role down the stretch of last season and Dion Lewis got plenty of looks from Tom Brady earlier this season before going down with an injury.
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The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Jackson is now 32-years-old.