ST. LOUIS — Running back Steven Jackson will have the option to explore free agency after the season, raising the question of whether Sunday’s finale at Seattle will be his final game in a St. Louis Rams uniform.
Jackson intimated Thursday that he might retire at the end of this season. Though he laughed as he said it, the 29-year-old running back didn’t retreat from the idea when asked how serious he was about the possibility
“If I have to write my story,” Jackson said Thursday, “I’d rather go out like Barry Sanders and leaving people to want more than to leave too late.”
So, how many more seasons does that mean are left for Jackson?
“Maybe this last one,” he said laughing. “Those hits hurt.”
Jackson negotiated earlier this year for the chance to opt out of his current contract at the end of this season with one year left on the deal. The nine-year veteran has expressed interest in ending his career with the only team he’s played for in the NFL, but hasn’t publicly committed to returning.
Fisher said the team’s made its decision.
“I think everybody in the building would like to have him back,” Fisher said. “It’s just a matter of us sitting down and working things out.”
Jackson posted in his locker a list of the NFL’s top 10 all-time rushing leaders and the three backs with at least 10,000 yards rushing and 5,000 yards receiving. He stands at 10,083 yards and needs 2,196 yards to equal Marshall Faulk, who Jackson replaced with the Rams, to get into the top 10.
Jackson also has 3,279 career receiving yards, though his 31 receptions and 276 yards this year are his lowest for a season not interrupted by a lengthy injury since he had 14 and 189 as a rookie in 2004.