Report: Steven Jackson will likely void his contract, test open market

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, it’s likely that Rams running back Steven Jackson will end up voiding his contract, which will enable him to test the free agent market this offseason.

Although talks continue between both parties, the planned meeting between the Rams and running back Steven Jackson’s agent have yet to take place.

Jackson has until the start of free agency March 12, now less than a month away, to decide whether to void the final year of his contract. If he voids, Jackson becomes a free agent. Jackson said four weeks ago on the NFL Network that the parties would sit down in February.

“We’re going to talk about my possibilities, where I want to go, and does it fit?” Jackson said at the time. “I believe we’ll get everything resolved before March.”

Well, February is half gone, but sources familiar with the negotiations say the meeting could take place at the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine, Feb. 20-26 in Indianapolis. The combine is an annual meeting place for talks between agents and teams anyway.

The Rams have consistently said that they want Jackson back in 2013. But his scheduled base salary of $7 million in 2013 (if he doesn’t void) would be tough to take for the cap-strapped Rams. They are currently a couple of million dollars over the projected salary cap ceiling for 2013. The most likely scenario is that Jackson voids the contract, tests the market, but the Rams continue to negotiate with him for a lower number than $7 million.

I think Jackson will be disappointed in the amount of money teams will be willing to pay him as a free agent.  With him being on the down side of his career and the fact that he’s a running back, it may only make sense for him to re-sign with the Rams after he voids his contract.