Around the NFC West: Jackson gone?

Opposing NFC West defenders won't miss Steven Jackson if the St. Louis Rams' career rushing leader has indeed played his final game with the team.

Around the NFC West: Feb. 26, 2013

Jackson, who will reportedly void his contract to become a free agent March 12, was not what opposing linebackers or defensive backs wanted to see charging through the line of scrimmage. He was 240 pounds of trouble on a 6-foot-2 frame, the heart and soul of the Rams when the franchise too often failed to register a pulse.

After 2,395 carries for 10,135 yards, Jackson has earned a chance to leave the Rams on his terms. He's riding a streak of eight consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. But with a $7 million salary for 2013, Jackson was also a potential salary-cap casualty. He turns 30 in July and the Rams are heading in another direction with the NFL's youngest roster.

Jackson presumably could have taken a pay cut to remain with St. Louis, but in what capacity? The Rams used 2012 draft choices for running backs Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson. By voiding his deal, Jackson gets a chance to test the market after nine productive but ultimately unrewarding seasons with St. Louis. It would be unfortunate for Jackson to leave the Rams just as the team is turning around its fortunes under coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead. At least he'll be the one making the call if it happens.