Steven Jackson to void final year of contract, test free agency

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It has long been assumed that St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson would opt out of the final year of his contract and enter free agency. Despite not hitting the necessary statistical plateaus to trigger the ability to void the final year of his deal, the Rams elected to allow Jackson the ability to do so anyway.

Now Jackson appears to be exercising that option.

According to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jackson will void the final year of his contract and elect to test the free agent market. By choosing to void his deal, Jackson is leaving $7 million on the table he was scheduled to make next season. However, it was unlikely the Rams were going to be able to keep him on the roster at that price.

Rams head coach Jeff Fisher has expressed a desire to keep Jackson in St. Louis and that discussions have gone well so far with Jackson’s agent. Jackson said in December he was “very optimistic” he’d finish his NFL career with the Rams.

But Jackson will still hit free agency for the first time in his nine-year NFL career on March 12. The Rams career rushing leader has rushed for over 1,000 yards in eight of his nine seasons and rushed for 10,135 yards and 56 touchdowns for his career.

72 responses to “Steven Jackson to void final year of contract, test free agency

  1. And what have the Patriots been missing the last few years? Good thing Mr. Brady cleared up that extra cap space.

  2. The Patriots and Packers would be scary fits for him. I wouldn’t count out the Dolphins and Lions. I think they could make a run at him. Don’t know how close he’ll get to that 9 mil though.

  3. He wouldn’t be willing to test the market unless his agent had some info that he may very well get a better deal by going to another team. Watched him twice a year run hard against the Hawks……I will miss that, but I bet that the Hawks won’t.

  4. i’d give him over 7 million a year for 1 or 2 years to come play RB for me. It might be soemwhat risky but his track record speaks for itself. i dont like used running backs either but he still has ‘it’

  5. Stephen Jackson is hitting free agency at the perfect time. There are at least 2 Super Bowl contending teams that will try to woo him. Green bay and New England should be the front runners.

  6. Patriots don’t need him. They have more than enough in the backfield with Ridley, Vereen, Woodhead, Bolden and Demps.

  7. If I recall, the last Rams running back to go to Pittsburgh did quite well for himself. Bettis even won a Super Bowl, and is waiting for his name to be called for the HOF now. Jackson would look good in the Black & Gold.

  8. Though I completely understand the sentiments from fans of teams with RB needs, such as Packers or Jets, I would be very careful about just finding a square peg and assuming your team is a square hole. For example, though Steven Jackson’s running style is a beautiful, complete contrast of what the Packers or Chargers do now, that may be a clue not to sign him. Is it worth risking throwing off Aaron Rodger’s rythm with his team? Is jackson even going to be able to run the way he is accustom to behind that line and blocking style? Some things are just to clashing to be helpful. Yes, it sounds strange, but we have seen examples before. Something to think about. (Btw I feel like stating that I am a Ravens fan with no horse in the race). Just thinking objectively.

  9. The Pats are gonna sign him. They have Ridley, Vereen, and Woodhead. There is no need to spend a few MM on Jackson when you have two guys who are cheap. I see the Packers, Lions, Arizona, Dallas, Miami as being potential landing spots who could use a veteran RB.

  10. If SJ leaves, it’ll be for a Super Bowl contender.

    My guess is it’ll be one of the four: Patriots, Broncos, Falcons, Packers

    This move has been widely anticipated though for awhile.

  11. First the Steelers stole Kevin Greene, second they stole Jerome Bettis, and now they are going to steal Steven Jackson.

    Damn those shrewd Steelers and damn those inept Rams.

  12. As a Rams fan since they day they moved to St. Louis, I will miss Steven Jackson a lot, but I hope he gets the opportunity to go somewhere and win. He deserves that. Throughout a lot of bad seasons, he never complained, never pouted…he always went out and represented the Rams, the fanbase, and the city well by giving 100% on every down. A true professional in every sense of the word, and he will always be a Ram to me.

  13. omg I’ve been a packer fan since I was a kid and I am going nuts thinking of him coming to the cheese heads! we havnt had a good RB in years and he would stabilize our running game…Make it happen paaaaalleeeezzzeee.

  14. Well, thats probably the end of the Greg Jennings + Franchise Tag talk. Use that money on a running game that the Packers haven’t had since ’03 with Ahman Green. Its a perfect fit. And anybody that says the Patriots didnt watch their games last season. They run the ball with competence. No need for them to upgrade at that spot when the defensive backfield is in such a mess.

  15. If NE signs Jackson after restructuring Brady’s deal, Dan Snyder will cry collusion between the Pats and Rams, and sue them both.

  16. Don’t forget the Broncos will be looking for a back this off season as well. There has been a lot of talk about Fox wanting a big back to play opposite Hillman who is a smaller back.

  17. The original beast in the NFC west would love to see him finish his career as a top RB. If i was the Colts, Packers or Broncos id be trying to get this taleny young man whose at the twlight of his football career.

  18. Jackson needs to come back to St. Louis because he will be most popular player in this town. If he gets 3 year deal he will have a chance to win Superbowl. He has suffered enough just to leave now. It’s time to enjoy St. Louis…

  19. This is a sad day for rams fans; no one has been a classier employee in the NFL over the past decade. Every week he put his head down and simply played the game of football with 100% effort no matter how bad the team around him was.

    I’m happy he’ll get a chance to play for a contender. However, I will be absolutely devastated if he signs with the Pats. I’m still bracing for them to replace Welker with Amendola…if they take Steven Jackson it will hurt. Spygate still lingers large in St. Louis…

    I agree the Packers seem like a very logical fit; how about the Falcons though? It looks like they are cutting Turner…seems like a good power back to complement Jacquizz.

  20. Whoops…hit enter too soon. Edit: So you can just void your contract?

    Brett Favre should have voided his contract. He wanted to leave the Jets to badly he had to retire and come back.

  21. Could Jackson be a player who really wants to play for a winner….? Or a ‘cap casualty’ who got out in front of it? Inquiring minds want to know….

  22. A true work horse. He will have no trouble getting what he wants. I liked him when he was drafted and could have been picked by My Eagles. Instead The Eagles took Shaun Andrews and we all know how that worked out.

  23. I all along have been saying that it was crazy for SJ to opt out, as I think his market value is closer to two years $7M than the one year $7M.

    Now it makes sence since the Rams must have told him that $7M was no happening.

    Stange world that NFL

  24. If he didn’t hit the triggers to allow him to void his own contract, how is the team getting away with “letting” him void it himself and not having to cut him and take any associated cap hit?

  25. I know it happens occasionaly, but I can’t remember when the last time an aging back changed teams and found success.

    It’s difficult in general for running-backs to change teams.

    Example, Brandon Jacobs left the Giants last year with zero impact.

    There are the occasional Cedric Bensons who revitalize their career after an address change, but most of the time established runners for one team start their swan song when moving on to other lockerrooms.

  26. The Rams were going to cut him anyway. He is not worth $7 million a year. Cutting him now allows him to find a job before the draft, instead of cutting him before camp.

    Both sides win. My guess, he will sign for ~$3 million somewhere, hopefully GB.

  27. Classy, hard-nosed runner that gave the team his all. It was fun watching him run when playing against the niners twice a year. Best of luck to him; they sure as hell don’t make ‘backs like him very often.

    In a division with Jackson, Lynch and Gore – we’re gonna miss having him around.

    The Rams, however are on an upswing of their own and if they can maintain their health and find some stability – there’s pretty much a 3-way tie for the division championship.

    Not to mention the slew of premium draft picks they have in their back pocket.


    A Humble Niners Fan. (yes, for the most part – we do exist).

  28. I’d say with the Falcons cutting Turner, that they are going to be in the hunt for SJax.

    Don’t see it being the Pats, unless Jackson wants to leave money on the table.

    Don’t see the Pack overpaying for him either.

    But Arthur Blank in Atlanta, yep, I can seeing him doing what it takes to sign Jackson.

  29. has anyone suggested he go to Atlanta yet. if he wants to play for a contender that could definitely use his services. ATL. would be the perfect fit

  30. I’d be worried about a running back who’s spent his entire career playing indoors trying to have the same success for an outdoor team. I firmly believe the reason Marshall Faulk is a hall of famer to this day is because when he left the Colts (a dome team) he went to the Rams (another dome team) so he didn’t have to adjust his style of play at all. Because of this I believe the best spot for Jackson if he doesn’t stay in St. Louis would probably be Atlanta. Especially since they are rumored to be parting ways with Turner soon.

  31. The Packers are a very logical landing spot. They need a quality RB, and although he’s got a few miles on him (literally), he’d be an instant upgrade at the position. They could also better utilize Alex Green, who’s more of a change-of-pace back, anyway. He’d become an instant fan-favorite.

    This move makes so much sense… that it will probably never happen. Look for Jackson to end up anywhere but Green Bay.

  32. lonespeed says: Feb 26, 2013 8:55 AM

    I know it happens occasionaly, but I can’t remember when the last time an aging back changed teams and found success… There are the occasional Cedric Bensons who revitalize their career after an address change, but most of the time established runners for one team start their swan song when moving on to other lockerrooms.
    Agreed. Jackson has always seemed like a guy who would finish his career with the team that drafted him. Guys like Benson can have good years in new cities because they’re glorified journeymen- good enough to start in the NFL, but not good enough to be the focal point of an offense. This is a weird move for Jackson, as he is a true franchise back (in an era where franchise backs are going the way of the dodo bird and the blocking tight end), and one would expect him to retire with the Rams for pride’s sake if nothing else.

    That’s not to say he won’t have another solid season or two left in the tank, just that it seems like a strange decision for a 29-year-old, face-of-the-franchise guy like Jackson change teams at this point in his career.

  33. all I know is, where ever he goes, I will be rooting for that him and the team he signs with. the reason that I am a rams fan is because of Marshall Faulk, and I am still a rams fan cause of SJax. I will be a rams fan forever now but I’ll have a second favorite, where ever Stephen Jackson lands. best of luck to him, such a classy player. I know every rams fan will be rooting for him

  34. Hes going to TEST the market, which is what a player of his caliber deserves. Either he finds the perfect scenario and plays for a legitmate title contender, or he returns to the Rams at a discounted price.

  35. He is going to be thirty years old before the season starts. There is probably a lot of wear and tear on those tires too.

    We all know what happens to most running back around the age of thirty. I wish him the best of luck, but I wouldn’t expect him to receive a long term contract.

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