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Rams say RB Jackson not unhappy

By R.b. Fallstrom

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, April 25 2012 4:05 p.m. MDT

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher speaks about the Rams' prospects in the upcoming NFL football draft on Wednesday, April 25, 2012, at the teams' training facility in St. Louis.

Jeff Roberson, Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Rams did their best to stamp out a rumor the day before the draft, saying running back Steven Jackson is not unhappy with his contract.

The Rams also say they're not interested in trading the two-time Pro Bowler. Jackson is coming off his seventh straight 1,000-yard season, and has two years to go on a deal that'll pay him about $7 million in 2012.

"Steven's here, he's in the offseason program, he's upstairs every other day," coach Jeff Fisher said Wednesday. "He's doing great, having fun, learning the offense."

Fisher said he didn't know how the rumor started or where it was coming from. He recalled rumors that the Rams were shopping quarterback Sam Bradford around when they traded the No. 2 pick to Washington, and he repeated that Jackson was not on the market.

"We talk about the potential ways of improving the roster, but his name has not been floated out there," Fisher said. "I don't know where it's coming from. People are just trying to create some excitement."

The Rams have the sixth overall pick Thursday night after trading the No. 2 pick to the Redskins for the No. 6 pick, along with Washington's second-rounder and first-rounders in 2013 and 2014.

Most mock drafts have St. Louis taking Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon. Depending how the top of the draft goes, the Rams may take Alabama running back Trent Richardson as Jackson's eventual successor.

Jackson said last week at a voluntary minicamp that he'd understand if the Rams took Richardson, that he'd help if the kid was receptive.

The biggest question with the 6-1, 210-pound Blackmon is a lack of breakaway speed. He had 121 catches for 18 touchdowns his senior season but at a 12.6-yard per catch average. Blackmon wasn't heavily recruited out of Ardmore, Okla., but emerged as a star after Dez Bryant was drafted by the Cowboys.

The current crop of Rams wide receivers lacks much of a profile with Danny Amendola the best of the bunch. Amendola was a go-to slot option in 2010 with 85 catches but for an 8.1-yard average, and missed virtually all of last season with a dislocated left elbow.

The Rams have eight picks to help build a roster that needs help all over, given they've totaled 10 wins the last three seasons. They've already filled some holes in free agency, with cornerback Cortland Finnegan, center Scott Wells and defensive tackle Kendall Langford signed to multiyear deals and Kellen Clemens signed to back up Bradford.

Fisher said any player he picks up on either side of the ball can help Bradford.

"We expect to pick up some starters in this draft, guys that can come in and start right away hopefully," Fisher said. "Guys who may take some time. It's going to be a process."

Predictably, Fisher and general manager Les Snead shed little light on their plans.

"I think there's a possibility of us both trading up and down," Fisher said. "And could also stay where we are. Is there any other option?"

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