6:37pm: The Falcons confirmed the news via press release.
6:29pm: The Falcons have released running back Steven Jackson, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Zach Klein of ABC 2 (via Twitter) first reported that Jackson would be one of the players let go on Friday.
Jackson, 32 in July, appeared in 15 games for the Falcons last season, running for 707 yards off of 190 carries with 6 TDs. In two seasons with the Falcons, Jackson rushed for 1,250 yards on 347 carries with 12 touchdowns. He also added 53 catches for 339 yards and one receiving touchdown.
S-Jax first joined the Falcons as a free agent in March of 2013 after spending his entire career with the Rams up until that point. At the peak of his career, Jackson was regarded as one of the best running backs in the NFL and had three Pro Bowl selections to his credit. In his breakthrough season in 2006, Jackson ran for 1,528 yards off of 346 carries, good for 4.4 yards per attempt. In 2009, Jackson would approach those numbers with 1,416 yards off of 324 carries. Jackson left St. Louis as a 1,000+ yard rusher but he was not able to match that kind of production over the last two seasons in Atlanta.
Cutting Jackson will save Atlanta ~$3.75MM against the cap, though they’ll be left with $1.66MM in dead money. Jackson joins a list of notable veteran tailbacks who have been released this offseason as Reggie Bush, DeAngelo Williams, Chris Johnson, and Peyton Hillis are also seeking employment.
The release of Jackson could put the Falcons into the market for a running back in free agency or the draft, or they might simply opt to promote from within and give more touches to the likes of Devonta Freeman.
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