Steven Jackson will become free agent after voiding contract, according to report

USA TODAY Sports

For first time in nine years, Jackson is set to test free agency.

St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson will void the final season of his contract March 12, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

That means Jackson will become a free agent on March 12, the day free agency begins:

It's not a surprising development because all indications have pointed this way over the past several weeks. The Rams simply can't afford to pay $7 million to a running back who turns 30 this coming summer, which is what Jackson was scheduled to make in 2013. In addition, the move saves the Rams the potential PR backlash of having to release Jackson.

Jackson's agent and the Rams have talked about bringing the veteran back, according to Thomas, but nothing has been settled.

Ryan Van Bibber of Turf Show Times says Jackson could be back with the team, but not as the starter:

Those conditions would likely be Jackson not shouldering the majority of carries. Fisher said that Isaiah Pead has the talent to be more than part time back, i.e. he can carry a load and be special in an offense. Jackson playing for the Rams in 2013 and beyond may have to settle for a second or third role on offense.

Now, for the first time in nine seasons, Jackson can sign elsewhere. After being announced as the No. 24 selection in the 2004 NFL Draft, Jackson has played in 131 games, accumulating 10,135 yards and 56 touchdowns.

At age 29 last season, Jackson played in all 16 games, picking up 1,042 yards and four touchdowns on 257 carries. It was his lowest total for rushing yards since 2008, when he put up the same exact number.

Thomas speculates the Atlanta Falcons could make a run for Jackson. The Falcons are reportedly set to release their own veteran running back, Michael Turner.

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