As the NFL Scouting Combine wraps up in Indianapolis, the focus around the NFL will begin to shift back to the players already in the league, especially those slated to become free agents in two weeks. A big name was added to the prospective free-agent pool on Tuesday as Rams running back Steven Jackson decided to void the final year of his contract.
Jackson was scheduled to earn $7 million next season, but will void the final year of his deal to become an unrestricted free agent on March 12. The 29-year-old Jackson will become a free agent for the first time in his career and is expected to draw plenty of interest. The Atlanta Falcons have been pegged as the early favorite to land Jackson, but as Eric Nagel of Turf Show Times wrote, Jackson could still end up in St. Louis. While Jackson could return, it may not be as a full-time starter. Turf Show Times has much more on Jackson and his future.
While Jackson will likely hit the open market in March, Tom Brady won't be a free agent any time soon after signing a three-year contract extension on Monday. The deal was initially reported to be worth $27 million over three seasons, but as more information came out Tuesday it turned out the deal came with some serious guaranteed money. According to ESPN.com, Brady will make $30 million guaranteed as part of the deal. Regardless, as Jeremy Gottlieb of Pats Pulpit noted, the deal still saves New England considerable salary cap space.
Brady may not be the only high-profile quarterback to rework his contract as Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers are reportedly close to a deal as well. Roethlisberger may not receive a contract extension as part of the deal, but instead Pittsburgh will restructure the deal to bring down his 2013 cap figure of $19.595 million. To do so, Pittsburgh would likely convert some of Roethlisberger's salary into a signing bonus, which they could then prorate over future years of the contract.
With free agency two weeks away, rumors continue to swirl about possible interest. Reggie Bush continues to be linked to the Lions and is reportedly Detroit's "primary target" in free agency. Detroit has been rumored to be interested in Bush before and a Lions wide receiver went as far as openly recruiting Bush to Detroit during an appearance on the NFL Network.
Atlanta continues to be linked to what seems like every veteran on the market, including defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Osi Umenyiora. The Falcons are reportedly looking to add a pass rusher and Umenyiora and Freeney are among the most notable names available. Both, however, are older as Umenyiora is 31 and Freeney is 33.
As most teams prepare to sign free agents, the Cowboys are still working to get under the salary cap. In order to do so, the Cowboys may be forced to release right tackle Doug Free. Free is scheduled to earn $7 million next season and struggled last season. If he does return, the Cowboys are reportedly considering shifting him inside to guard. Dave Halprin of Blogging the Boys isn't in favor of such a move and instead wrote if Free can't handle right tackle, the team would be best served to release him.
As always, follow SBN Football on Twitter for the latest and greatest NFL news throughout the day.
More in the NFL: