Steven Jackson is nearing the end of the road

AP

After 11 seasons and 11,388 rushing yards, Falcons running back Steven Jackson appears to be near the end of the road.

Jackson will turn 32 in July and has averaged 3.7 and 3.5 yards a carry in the last two years — the two lowest yards-per-carry averages of his 11-year career. Combine that with the fact that Jackson is owed $3.75 million this year, and it’s easy to see why ESPN says Jackson is likely to be released.

New Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has said that any type of running back can succeed in his offense. If that’s true, the Falcons will surely join the growing numbers of NFL teams that decline to pay much money at the running back position. Younger, cheaper options like Jacquizz Rodgers and Devonta Freeman would make a lot more sense as the 1-2 punch in Atlanta than the aging and expensive Jackson. (Antone Smith, who showed some promise for the Falcons last year, becomes a free agent next month.)

Assuming that Jackson is released, he likely wouldn’t have a very big market for his services. The running back position has been devaluated to the point that teams are rarely even willing to pay big money to the running backs who are in their primes, let alone those like Jackson who are past their primes. It’s entirely possible that we’ve seen the last of Steven Jackson.

75 responses to “Steven Jackson is nearing the end of the road

  1. Seen the last of him?

    Doubtful.

    The issue here is he makes 3.75 million dollars.

    At the vet minimum there’s likely a dozen teams that would sign him atleast as a stud third down back in a heartbeat.

  2. He had a nice little career, but it seemed like every year I waited for him to have that huge year and he never really did. Tough player though, and perhaps would have had that monster year on a better team.

    That said, the truly elite RBs dominate no matter who the team and for that reason he’s not a hall of famer.

  3. 6’3″ 235lbs. Big dude who could get hit, amazing he didnt get hurt like similiar tall rbs.

    But in his prime he was pretty fast. And hes always had a soft set of hands and good awareness as a receiver.

    Pretty phenomenal package of talents. But then he went to garbage old stanky birds and didnt do squat. Lucky he didnt get $bounty$ put on his head. Whodat baby

  4. Problem is that after 30, most RBs don’t have much tread left on the tires. For example Ladainian Tomlinson, Maurice Jones Drew, Marshall Faulk, etc.

  5. Cowboys will immediately sign him to replace DeMarco Murray. Jackson is definitely worth a shot, and would likely give at least one good year behind that Dallas o-line.

  6. With no L. Bell the first 2 weeks with likely suspension for DUI/POT@PITT he would be a good short term help and he could hang around and be a sub.

    I don’t Tomlin will hang himself out to dry again with the Blount/Blunt scenario.

  7. averaging over 1000 yards for 11 seasons? Pretty darn good, if you ask me.

    I think he’ll be picked up somewhere. Not for that kind of money, but in the million range? Why not?

  8. The days of him earning top dollar running back money is gone, but he can still be effective. If you can get away with using him sparingly throughout the season and start him up late to avoid the nagging injuries, he could be helpful for a team like the Colts.

  9. If you’re hating on Steven Jackson, you’re trolling or don’t realize he’s pretty close to having Hall of Fame numbers. Check the stats and get real.

  10. Yeah, all about expectations here. He’s not going to be a stud multi-million-dollar RB any more. But as others have said, if he’s willing to take anything close to yet still above the vet-minimum, he will have no problem finding a team to play for.

  11. Steven Jackson went to Oregon State and has had an amazing career. He’s 16th on the NFL All-Time Rushing List– with more career rushing yards than OJ Simpson, John Riggins, Earl Campbell, to name just a few who didn’t carry it as far.

  12. I feel bad for this guy. If he had spent his prime years with even a reasonably good team they’d be starting to talk HOF about now.

  13. Such a shame that so much of his career was spent in fruitless efforts to lift up a screamingly mediocre Rams team. He may be second only to Larry Fitzgerald in the “could have been a contender” ranks of this generation of players. (And I know LF has had some high-profile success, but also many lean years with a team going nowhere, and he should have been a year-in-year-out superstar.)

  14. Even the old workhorse has to enter the glue factory one day. Atlanta should just admit the mistake they made signing him and release him. Put out to pasture as they say.

  15. Even as a Niners fan, I used the love watching him play. From 2006-2010 both teams were pretty bad, but the two constants were Gore and Jackson trashing the other team. Though they ran differently, they felt interchangeable and were the heart and soul of their respective offenses.

  16. jonwill57 says:
    Feb 12, 2015 3:40 PM
    Philly could use a short yardage back. Oh wait, isn’t he from Oregon?

    ________________________________

    Oregon State

  17. Perfect #2 for Le’Veon, and Jackson could end his career with a Lombardi this year. Win-win.

  18. He had a great run, excuse the pun, outlasting most RBs in years on the field. Good luck in your future endeavors and invest wisely.

  19. Consummate professional. Heck of an RB. Had a career wasted on the Rams, went to the Falcons and it was discovered that Matt Ryan isn’t really that good. Good Luck SJ.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    What does Matt Ryan have to do with this story. SJax may be cut because his numbers do not look good. His numbers are bad because the O-line was down to third stringers starting by week 4. This also affected Ryan’s ability to throw. Couple that with a weak defense and the whole game becomes a tennis match where you have to hold serve to win.

    Ryan is not the problem.

    The commenter is a Cowboy’s fan. I’ll bet if Jerry Jones could swap players AND contracts right now, Matt Ryan would be the starting QB for the Cowboys.

  20. One of the best RB pass blockers ever. He could handle edge rushers and interior guys by himself. Not many backs can do that. When he was at his prime he was a monster as a receiver as well.

  21. He could very easily be the backup/complement to LeVeon Bell that Blount proved not to be.

    …..and as an added bonus, he gets to start week one and two!

  22. He was beastmode before Marshawn was out of Pop Warner and is still a pounder given a decent cast of supporting players. The Cardinals could use him to pave the way for their fly weights, Andre Ellington or Kerwynn Williams, but I would rather see he and Fitz both go to a team where they can finish their careers with a ring. Whatever he decides, he’s made football fun for fans, and is one of the remaining, kick ass old school true blocking running backs.

  23. Good player and from what I’ve heard and read, a class act as well. Got screwed by a crap team in ST Louis then again in Atlanta. I remember wishing that the Cowboys would have drafted him instead of Julius Jones. If he plays again or not he is still one of the best at his craft, especially considering what he had to work with. Best wishes either way, he really doesn’t’t have anything left to prove at this point. Good player, good career. Hopefully he finds spot duty on a contender.

  24. This guy was done 2 years ago. The Rams wore him out. Why the Falcons brought him in is beyond me. Wasted of time and money. Just one questionable decision amongst many by Dimitroff.

  25. Honestly, who’d rather have Trent Richardson over Jackson? Crickets.
    That’s what I thought. He’ll be a backup next year if he still wants to play

  26. Although we’ve come to the end of the road
    Still I can’t let you go
    It’s unnatural, you belong to me, I belong to you
    Come to the end of the road
    Still I can’t let you go
    It’s unnatural, you belong to me, I belong to you

  27. Young mans game and he’s 3 years late to his own retirement party.

    Hope he saved his money

  28. If he’s willing to take a vet min deal as a role player, he’ll have a job.

    Even now, he’s too good at blitz pickup and receiving out of the backfield to go unemployed, and he’s still a weapon as a runner in short-yardage situations, too.

    It’s just a matter of if he wants to keep playing and what he is willing to settle for.

  29. You’re better off financially being an average basketball player than a football player. At least you can go to China or Europe when NBA doesn’t pan out. Being a football player means you need to juice up to keep up, or be cut and lose all those “guaranteed “money, and worry about your brain after the career is over.

  30. helicopterpilot13 says: Feb 12, 2015 6:43 PM

    The most overrated back ever. Look at how many games he either left with injury or missed due to injury.
    The most fragile big back ever.

    Of all the things that could be said to this post. IGNORANT is the one that seems to sum it up the best. Go back to playing Madden.

  31. He and Adrian Peterson may have been the last of the great every down backs; guys that carry it more than 300 times, year after year. That’s not something we’re going to see much going forward.

  32. @ stash918 says,

    “If you’re hating on Steven Jackson, you’re trolling or don’t realize he’s pretty close to having Hall of Fame numbers. Check the stats and get real”.

    Uhhhhh, whatever. When you average just over 6 TD’s per season, I sincerely apologize, but those are NOT stats that get you into the HOF. And there is no “pretty close” to HOF numbers. That is like saying you were pretty close to winning the SB. You either win a SB or you don’t. You either have HOF stats or you don’t after 11 seasons, and Jackson doesn’t have them.

    Jackson is a good (not great) back. He was injured often (3 seasons out of 11 where he played in all 16 games). He is a great guy and teammate who was humble and stayed out of trouble, but that doesn’t get you into the HOF.

  33. Who was the first team to prove that a average RB was really all that was needed to win consistently? The Patriots? Yes I’m a homer but I’m being serious. Antoine Smith, average, Corey Dillion above average but no Barry Sanders, Danny Woodhead, Ridley, Green-Ellis the list is long. As long as you have a dominate passing game, you can have an average RB and make him look spectacular. I do believe the Pats proved it first.

  34. Not a fan of any team he has been on but mad respect for the guy, an absolute beast in his prime, even on some lousy teams. Never got the props he deserved but hope he can keep it going for a couple seasons more, maybe Indy can sign him to teach that softy bust how a big back is supposed to run the football.

  35. “How did it get so late so soon?
    It’s night before it’s afternoon.
    December is here before it’s June.
    My goodness how the time has flewn.
    How did it get so late so soon?”

    Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

  36. I certainly enjoyed watching Steven Jackson play football in the NFL. He is one of those kinds of players that is bigger than the stage (HOF).

  37. Not sure where the “hes slow and washed up” is coming from. Saw him live last year and he looked pretty spry, although it was early in the season. I think he can still be successful as a change of pace/3rd down back. Great blocker and receiver still at this point in his career.

  38. When I think of Steven Jackson I remember a hard-nosed back who always fell forward. He had a scary combination of speed and power. He had eight straight seasons with more than 1,000 yards rushing. That’s all you need to look at to determine just how special he was.

  39. Oh, to be 32 again, with millions of dollars in the bank. Still young and healthy and lots of fans to shake hands with. He’ll be fine.

  40. keltictim, actually you are quite wrong on who did it first. All you need to do is look back at the 49ers under Walsh and Seifert. Their West Coast style offense was the template that ushered in dink & dunk passing and their running backs were average to good at best. I hate to burst your bubble but the Patriots are nothing special and have started no new trends……unless you count questionable “operations” and mind numbing press conferences that is.

  41. Once I got to see a Rams game from field level. Watching the speed, power and violence of Steven Jackson with a ball in his hands, from just a few yards away, gave me a completely new appreciation for just how big and fast the NFL is. The man was a monster and would have been a no-brainer Hall of Famer on a decent team.

  42. He came in at the beginning of the decline of the GSOT and basically wasted his years on Rams teams that posted losing records. A shame.

  43. ilovefoolsball says:
    Feb 12, 2015 2:45 PM
    Another amazing athlete’s dream of a Superbowl ruined by the Falcons.
    ———

    Yeah, he should definitely blame the Falcons and not the Rams for that. Pull your head out of your…

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