Steven Jackson Will Reportedly Become Free Agent After 2012 Season

Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistOctober 4, 2012

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 09:  Stephen Jackson #39 of the St. Louis Rams runs for a first down during the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on September 9, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Rams 27-23.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

He might be sidelined by a groin injury, but St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson is in the news for another reason altogether.

CBS Sports' Pete Prisco reports that while the 29-year-old running back did not meet the incentives in his contract that would have allowed him to void the deal's final two years, the team has decided to allow him to void the last year of his deal—meaning that Jackson will be a free agent following the 2012 season.

Jackson, who became the franchise's all-time leading rusher back in 2010, has racked up 9,288 yards and 52 touchdowns on the ground over his nine-year career with the team, and he's been its leading rusher every season since 2005.

Thus far in 2012, Jackson has carried the ball 59 times for 195 yards.

The veteran immediately jumps up near the top of the list of running backs available in free agency following this season—if not to the top.

Jackson joins a group that includes the Dolphins' Reggie Bush, the Jets' Shonn Greene, the Saints' Chris Ivory, the Jaguars' Rashad Jennings, the Steelers' Rashard Mendenhall and the Patriots' Danny Woodhead.

As for the Rams, questions abound as to whom the team envisions as its running back of the future. Is it Daryl Richardson, who has totaled 32 yards on 10 carries over the past two weeks, or is it a player not even on the current roster?

It's going to be an interesting offseason in St. Louis.