Running back Steven Jackson has voided the final year of his contract with the Rams, which would have paid him $7 million. But as he looks for the first time in his career for a new team, he says it’s not about the money.
Of course, that usually means it is. In Jackson’s case, however, we’re inclined to believe him.
“I’ve been able to have a successful career, especially dealing with some hard times as an individual,” Jackson told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “But it’s more at this point of my career [I] want to be a part of something, chasing a Lombardi Trophy. I want to be a part of something special. And at this point where I’m at, and where the Rams are right now, we had a very open discussion, very heart-to-heart, about what my role would be going forward from now. And that’s where the disagreement comes in. It wasn’t about salary.”
In other words, it was about the money for the Rams. After all, they allowed Jackson to void the final year of his deal, even though he didn’t reach the triggers necessary to make it go away. If Jackson hadn’t voided the last year of the deal, chances are the Rams wouldn’t have wanted to pay Jackson $7 million for a reduced role.
“It would be more of a running back by committee kind of agreement [with the Rams] going forward,” Jackson said. “I embrace the fact that I took in Daryl [Richardson] and Isaiah Pead and taught them a lot and hopefully they’ll go on to not only excel, but be very good athletes and good professionals in this league. But for where I’m at going into year 10, I’m not ready to step back and just become a primary backup or reduced role guy, to be a part of a running back by committee. I still have a lot left in my tank. I still have a lot to offer a team. We’re not talking about someone that is in year 12 or 13. But I understand. I understand the business side of it. I still have a great relationship with the organization and one day I’ll be going back there.”
Moving forward, Jackson hopes to be another team’s primary option at tailback.
“I’ve opted out of my position of being with the team and being comfortable because I want to continue to still be the bell cow,” Jackson said. “So that’s how I want teams to look at me. That’s how I’m going to shop myself and we’ll cross that bridge when we get there if that’s not the feedback that we’re receiving.”
Surely, someone will be giving Jackson a shot at being at the top of the depth chart, even if it’s only for a year or two.