Steven Jackson To Hit The Open Market?

St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson is reportedly going to opt out of the final year of his contract to hit free-agency this off-season. The 29-year-old back has been a workhorse for the Rams throughout his career. When healthy, Jackson has been the constant in an inconsistent Rams offense. He is owed $7 million next season, and Jackson is reportedly unhappy with his contract. The Rams on the other hand are hesitant to offer Jackson any more money based on his age and past workload.

Jackson has been a stud in the NFL since he entered the league in 2004. The 6-foot-2, 240 pound back out of Oregon State has rushed for at least 1,000 yards in each of his past eight seasons. The only year he didn't rush for 1,000 yards was his rookie season where he only had 134 carries. Even then, he managed 673 yards for a 5.0 yards per carry average.

Jackson will turn 30 years old in July, making him an immediate concern as an older back in the NFL. Older backs are a rarity in the NFL nowadays as younger, cheaper backs emerge as stars. Jackson on the other hand could still be a very valuable running back in the NFL. Even though he has suffered some lingering injuries the past few seasons, he takes care of his body. Despite being a workhorse in the past, Jackson could flourish in an offense with a lighter required workload. For a team willing to pay his annual salary, plugging Jackson into a two-back system could prove to be very worthwhile. I don't expect Jackson to be on the open market for very long. He still has a ton of talent and some years left.

[Image: The Penalty Flag]

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