Nearing The End Of The Road

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Atlanta Falcons running back Steven Jackson (39) leaps away from Tampa Bay Buccaneers free safety Bradley McDougald (30) for a 1-yard touchdown run during the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan Ebenhack)

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After 11 seasons and 11,388 rushing yards, Falcons running back Steven Jackson appears to be near the end of the road.

Jackson will turn 32 in July and has averaged 3.7 and 3.5 yards a carry in the last two years — the two lowest yards-per-carry averages of his 11-year career. Combine that with the fact that Jackson is owed $3.75 million this year, and it’s easy to see why ESPN says Jackson is likely to be released.

New Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has said that any type of running back can succeed in his offense. If that’s true, the Falcons will surely join the growing numbers of NFL teams that decline to pay much money at the running back position. Younger, cheaper options like Jacquizz Rodgers and Devonta Freeman would make a lot more sense as the 1-2 punch in Atlanta than the aging and expensive Jackson. (Antone Smith, who showed some promise for the Falcons last year, becomes a free agent next month.)

Assuming that Jackson is released, he likely wouldn’t have a very big market for his services. The running back position has been devaluated to the point that teams are rarely even willing to pay big money to the running backs who are in their primes, let alone those like Jackson who are past their primes. It’s entirely possible that we’ve seen the last of Steven Jackson.

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Source : http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/02/12/steven-jackson-is-nearing-the-end-of-the-road/

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