Steven Jackson plans to void the last year of his contract on March 12 in his desire to test the free agent market, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Reports around the league are indicating the Atlanta Falcons appear to be the likely landing spot for the veteran running back.
Thomas notes Atlanta would be a suitor for Jackson. Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports also added to the discussion, saying the Falcons seem like the top candidate based on the ongoings at the NFL Combine.
Jackson hasn't played in postseason game since his rookie season with the St. Louis Rams. He wants to sign with a Super Bowl contender now that he is approaching the end of his career. A deal with the Falcons makes sense.
Michael Turner isn't expected to stick around for 2013. His contract, along with his lack of production down the stretch in 2012, simply doesn't make sense to keep around, at least for the cap hit he holds. Replacing him with Jackson would provide a powerful back who can shoulder the load late in games, something the Falcons desperately needed last season. Turner can't cut it in that role anymore.
While Jackson's contract looks steep right now, we could expect him to take a pay cut to play for a team with a strong chance of playing in Super Bowl XLVIII. Jackson will also turn 30 in July. Plus, he's rushed for 10,135 yards on 2,395 carries throughout his nine-year career. Don't expect his agent to go to the negotiating table claiming his aging client deserves a huge, multi-year deal.
Personally I like the thought of Jackson suiting up for the Falcons in 2013. Some continue to express interest in Reggie Bush coming to Atlanta, but he is too similar to Jacquizz Rodgers for my taste. The Falcons don't need another back like that. Give them a workhorse-type back with the ability to pound the ball in short yardage.
Despite seeming like he's always on the injury report, Jackson has only missed two games over the past four seasons. He's reaching the end of the line, but displayed enough talent this past year to prove he can still make the impact the Falcons need. What do you think of Jackson potentially playing for Atlanta?