St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson will void the final deal of his contract, and the Atlanta Falcons look like a perfect landing spot for him.
As Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution outlines, Jackson to Atlanta makes sense.
Jackson shouldn’t command an outrageous contract; he’ll be 30 years old by the time the season comes around. With Atlanta having limited cap space, they can’t afford to break the bank on a free agent running back.
Not only does Jackson run well – as evident by the eight consecutive seasons he’s posted over 1,000 rushing yards – he’s also able to catch the ball. Excluding Jackson’s rookie year, he’s had at least 38 receptions each season. In 2006, which was Jackson’s monster season, he had 90 receptions for 806 yards.
Turner isn’t as adept at catching the ball, and the chances of Matt Ryan checking down to him were slim. Turner’s season-high for receptions is 19, and he did that this previous year in which the Falcons made the transition to a truly dynamic passing offense. Imagine what Jackson would do in the passing game for the Falcons offense.
Jackson wants to play for a winner; he’s been stuck with the Rams since he was drafted by them back in 2004. It was also the last time the Rams appeared in the postseason. The Falcons were 10 yards short of reaching Super Bowl XLVII, and they’re likely to be in the mix again.
If Jackson were to sign with the Falcons, he would likely get around the same amount of carries as Turner did this past season (222). But that’s nothing new for Jackson. If you remove the three seasons in which he carried the ball 300+ times (2006, 2009, 2010), Jackson averaged 232 carries per season. He was still able to produce with those amount of carries, and that’s what Atlanta needs.
I would be genuinely shocked if Jackson isn’t in a Falcons uniform for next season.