Potential fallout from Jackson accusations

The Rams released a statement Thursday acknowledging news that the mother of Steven Jackson's child has accused the running back of beating her days before their son was born.

"We are aware of the situation involving Steven Jackson," coach Steve Spagnuolo said in the statement. "We are in the process of gathering information. We are always concerned with issues involving our players."

The accusations against Jackson will damage his reputation even without an arrest or charges. I also think the accusations make it tougher for the Rams to consider adding players with known off-field issues, complicating any plans regarding a trade for Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.

Perceptions matter a great deal and the perception would be that Spagnuolo had ditched -- as opposed to softened -- his "four pillars" rhetoric.

Spagnuolo stressed those pillars -- faith, character, core values, team first -- in outlining expectations for the Rams before last season. It's good to promote such values, but it is also difficult to insist upon all players complying at all times. Some players will run into trouble. Severing ties with every troubled player will not be practical or even in the best interests of an organization.

General manager Billy Devaney acknowledged this through recent comments suggesting the Rams would be more open to considering a wider range of draft prospects.

In the short term, the situation involving Jackson puts all parties in a difficult situation. Jackson will eventually have to address the allegations, which raise serious questions about his judgment and character.