What to make of Steven Jackson's deal

Steven Jackson has negotiated an out to his contract following the 2012 season, in lieu of an extension.

Jim Thomas has the details.

Jackson had been under contract through the 2013 season. Giving him the ability to leave following the 2012 season gives both sides a way around a potentially awkward situation. Basically, it means the Rams won't have to release their career rushing leader if they decide to move in another direction at the position in the coming offseason. In that case, Jackson could simply exercise his option to leave, going out on his terms.

Jackson, 29, might not figure into the team's plans past this season. The team used a second-round choice for running back Isaiah Pead this year. Another 2012 draft choice, Daryl Richardson, has shown he probably has a future with the team.

Jackson is earning $7 million this season. He would earn the same amount in 2013 if he remains with the team.

The Rams weren't going to give Jackson a long-term extension at age 29. Jackson wasn't going to accept one of those looks-good-on-paper deals that wouldn't really give him any greater long-term security.

This contract gives Jackson additional options. It shows the team is prepared to move on without him, too.