To void or not to void?
Nearly three weeks into the Rams' offseason, but nearly two months away from the start of free agency, running back Steven Jackson still has plenty of time to decide.
"He hasn't made any final decision on that," Jackson's agent, Eugene Parker, said this week. "There's no urgency. The season just got over. So there hasn't been any discussion with the Rams on the future."
A late-season tweak in Jackson's contract pushed back the deadline for him to reach a decision on whether to void the final season (2013) of his deal. Originally, the deadline was five days after the Super Bowl, which would have been Feb. 8. But in an end-of-December contract revision, Jackson now has until the start of free agency — or March 12 — to reach a decision.
Jackson can void the final year at any time before March 12, but again is in no hurry. He reiterated that point Friday in an appearance on the NFL Network.
"We're going to sit down this next coming month, in February," Jackson said. "Both sides have been very classy about how they've handled the situation. We're going to talk about my possibilities, where I want to go, and does it fit? I believe we'll get everything resolved before March."
Rams executive vice president Kevin Demoff said the void provisions stemmed from concerns expressed by Jackson a year ago, before even the hiring of coach Jeff Fisher.
"He had expressed concern about whether this would be another rebuilding project and the direction of the team, " Demoff said. "Steven has been a great player, a great leader for our team, and he's never had the chance really to be with a competitive team through no fault of his own.
"And this would allow him, if he was unhappy with the direction of the team after the 2012 season, to look around and be able to leave and to see what free agency would be like. He's never been a free agent.
"The void was not intended for him to leave; it was intended to give him the option to explore. Obviously, he had a very good season on the field. I think he's excited about the direction of the team, as we are. How that plays out this offseason, we'll see."
There are several factors for Jackson to consider as he weighs his options. For one, he wants a contract that carries beyond 2013, in theory at least giving him two or three more years of security. After nine seasons in the league, Jackson knows he doesn't have much time left in the NFL, so it's more important than ever to play on a winning team, to be in the playoffs.
To void or not to void?