As of March 7, 2013, Steven Jackson has officially voided his contract with the St. Louis Rams in favor of becoming a featured back for a title contender.
"For where I'm at, going into Year 10, I'm not ready to step back and just become a primary backup or a reduced role guy to be part of a running back by committee," Jackson said Thursday on Sirius XM NFL Radio. "I still have a lot left in my tank. I still have a lot left to offer to a team. We're not talking about someone that's in Year 12 or 13."
Jackson went on to make it very clear that his main priority is playing for a championship and that money will not play a crucial role in the decision.
"It wasn’t about money at this point. I've been able to have a successful career, especially dealing with some hard times as an individual. But it’s more at this point of my career [I] want to be a part of something, chasing a Lombardi Trophy. I want to be a part of something special. And at this point where I’m at, and where the Rams are right now, we had a very open discussion, very heart-to-heart, about what my role would be going forward from now. And that’s where the disagreement comes in. It wasn’t about salary. ...
The disagreement being simply that the veteran will not settle for taking a role as anything less than a starter.
"I have opted out of my position of being with the team and being comfortable because I want to continue to still be the bell cow. So that's how I want teams to look at me, that's how I'm going to shop myself, and we'll cross that bridge when we get there if that's not the feedback we're receiving."
His needs should ultimately make the Atlanta Falcons an ideal landing spot. As not only was the team 10 yards shy of reaching the Super Bowl last season, but the recent release of Michael Turner would allow Jackson to immediately assume a position as a featured back in one of the leagues premiere offenses.
Jackson would also be in a prime position to register nearly the same number of carries that he did in his 2012 campaign should he come to Atlanta. Seeing as Turner posted 222 rushing attempts last season, not a far cry from Jackson's 257.
The big question for Thomas Dimitroff and company moving forward is whether or not the Falcons should invest in another 30-year-old workhorse.
Although Jackson's resume of rushing for 1000-plus yards in the last eight consecutive seasons and his 4.4 yards per carry average last season mostly speaks for itself.