St. Louis Rams players voted RB Steven Jackson a captain this season, and he has often claimed he wants to retire a Ram. The question now is if that will happen following a contract adjustment signed by Jackson on Sept. 8, one day before the start of the regular season.
While numerous reports said Jackson has the option of voiding the 2013 final year of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent, sources indicate the void is automatic if Jackson is on the Rams registry 5 days after the Super Bowl, which would be Feb. 8.
Certainly, there is the chance that his contract may be renegotiated again before Feb. 8 or that an agreement could occur after Feb. 8, before the start of the league year in March. NFL scores
However, the current agreement took place because the 2 parties weren’t able to get agreement on a contract extension beyond 2013 when Jackson will turn 30 and is scheduled to be paid $7 million. His income is also $7 million for this season.
The Feb. 8 date precludes a trade unless the void terms are changed because deals can’t be made until the start of the league year. The Rams could release Jackson after the February 3 Super Bowl and before Feb. 8, but that isn’t very likely as the Rams would then get no draft-pick compensation for him if he signed with another team.
By simply permitting the void to occur, the Rams could receive compensation in 2014 depending on the deal he would sign with a new team. The St. Louis Rams would also keep the ability to place a franchise or transition tag on Jackson before the beginning of the league year, assuming they didn’t give up that right in the renegotiation. This year, the franchise figure for running backs was $7.742 million.
Clearly, as this season develops, the lingering question will be whether the St. Louis Rams will want him back and at what price. For Jackson’s part, it could actually come down to how much he would accept to stay. He could always test the market in March and see what level of interest there is in a 30-year-old RB.
Jackson insisted that he wants to be here. He likes what the team is doing, even with some of the struggles on offense. “As an offense we still have some ways we will get better,” he announced. “If we grow at the rate that I think we should and we’ll grow, we’re going to be an especially dangerous team.”
Asked about his contract situation, Jackson recounted, “It’s a part of the business. I’ve said that from the beginning that, even in 2004, I wanted to retire here. This organization gave me the chance to live out a dream. In 2008 they extended me and at the end of the season we’ll see what happens with me. But something is happening here and I would like to be part of it.”