Steven and the St. Louis Rams agreed to a deal on Aug. 20 that could make him the highest-paid running back in the league, and keep him in a Rams uniform until 2014.
The first four years of the deal are valued at $29.3 million, with $21 million guaranteed. Upon reaching the fifth year of the deal, the contract gets tricky; the fifth and sixth years of the deal are voidable by the Jackson if he reaches certain performance levels, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. If he plays through all six years of the deal, No. 39 will earn $49.3 million in all.
The voidability of the fifth and sixth years of the deal are contingent upon Jackson averaging 1,200 yards rushing and 400 yards receiving through the first four years of the deal. This gives S-Jax the benefit of being able to opt out of the deal if he believes he can earn more by testing the free agent market.
Given his tremendous stats in recent years, the 25 year-old should have no problem attaining those numbers once again. Over the past three seasons, No. 39 has racked up 3.576 yards and a staggering 26 touchdowns.
Jackson’s new deal replaced the five-year, $7 million deal he had since signing as a first-round pick in 2004, and made him the third-highest paid Ram behind Marc Bulger and Orlando Pace.
Now that the terms have been agreed upon, S-Jax says he’s pleased.
“No one gets 100 percent of what they would like to happen, but me and my agent are happy…I still feel the same way about this organization as I did last year the last game of the season.”
Jackson sincerely hopes that none of his fans took offense to his holdout.
“I do understand everyone has their own opinion…But I think if I can continue to play in the manner that I have in the (previous) four years, and stay healthy on the field, I think all will be forgiven.”
BACK ON TRACK
With his contract issues put to rest, S-Jax was pumped to get back on the field and join his team. But not nearly as pumped as his head coach, Scott Linehan, who was elated about No. 39’s return.
“It was great to see him,” Linehan said. “There’s no upside to being adversarial in these kind of deals. You’ve just got to stay positive and you’ve got to focus on who’s here and have trust and faith in the people that are working on getting everything done.”
Jackson will sit out the final game of the preseason against Baltimore, but is expected to receive a heavy workload in Week 1 at Philadelphia. S-Jax will then take on the defending champion New York Giants in Week 2, albeit without the likes of Michael Strahan (retired) and Osi Umenyiora (injured). Expect No. 39 to have a big day.
New deal could be worth $49.3 million (ESPN.com, Aug. 22, 2008)
Jackson seeks peace with fans (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Aug. 22, 2008)
Void Years in Steven Jackson’s contract explained (Fantasy Football Collective, Aug. 22, 2008)