At first blush, some will say that running back Steven Jackson erred when he chose to walk away from one year and $7 million in St. Louis to make, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, $12 million over three years in Atlanta.
Of the amount, $4 million is guaranteed.
But if Jackson hadn’t opted to void the final season of his Rams contract, the Rams surely would have done it for him. With the Rams, per Jackson himself, not wanting him to be the lead dog any longer, the duties wouldn’t have justified the dollars.
Jackson’s duties in Atlanta remain less clear. Earlier this year, Falcons coach Mike Smith said Jacquizz Rodgers can play all three downs. But Jackson surely wouldn’t have chosen the Falcons to be a backup or a short-yardage option.
Look for Jackson get every chance to win the starting job, with Rodgers making regular appearances in order to keep Jackson fresh. After all, the nine-year veteran has more than 2,800 career touches — which translates to more than 300 total touches per year.
If Jackson wants to finish all three years of his new contract, he’ll need to be willing to dial back on the contact.
Meanwhile, Jackson’s $4 million annual average matches the deal signed Wednesday by Reggie Bush in Detroit, which puts them at the top of the veteran tailback market.