Why the Rams Were Smart to Void Final Year of Steven Jackson's Contract

Chris TrapassoAnalyst IOctober 5, 2012

October 4, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson (39) breaks away from Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Paris Lenon (51) during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams defeated the Cardinals 17-3. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

Although Steven Jackson is the St. Louis Rams' all-time leading rusher and ran extremely hard on many woeful teams in his career, the organization has made the right decision to void the last year of his contract. 

News of the future voiding was reported by CBS Sports' Pete Prisco, and he wrote a column about it. 

Says Prisco:

Even though Jackson didn't reach the required incentives to void out the final two years of his contract, the team has decided to allow him to void the final year (2013) anyway, which means Jackson will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2012 season. 

For the remainder of the 2012 season, Jackson will earn $7 million as part of the deal he signed in August of 2008. 

Before the news broke, he was set to make another $7 million in 2013 and was to be on the books as a $8.89 million cap hit—the exact amount as this year. 

Jackson has run for more than 1,000 yards in seven consecutive seasons, and he has logged more than 2,200 carries in his career. 

Frank Gore, who's the same age as the Rams runner (29), has totaled only 1,719 career carries heading into Week 5. 

Quite the disparity. 

Although Jackson appeared to have the familiar burst against the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday night, he is dealing with a groin injury—one that could undoubtedly linger. 

If nothing else, the Rams' decision regarding Jackson's contract comes as a thank you to the steady running back. It gives him an opportunity to join a contender at the twilight of his illustrious career.

There may not be a huge market for Jackson, especially if his groin injury flares later in the season, so he could always return to St. Louis to finish his career. 

But the Rams made the smart business decision by allowing Jackson to void the final year of his deal. They simply can't pay a 30-year-old Jackson $7 million next season. 

Regardless of what happens with Steven Jackson, this seemingly amicable contract voiding is best for both sides.