Rams running back Steven Jackson will void the final year of his contract March 12, league sources told the Post-Dispatch on Monday. That means Jackson, the Rams’ career rushing leader, will test the free-agent market.

It’s not a surprising development because all indications have pointed this way over the past several weeks. The Rams simply can’t afford to pay $7 million to a running back who turns 30 this coming summer, which is what Jackson was scheduled to make in 2013. In addition, the move saves the Rams the potential PR backlash of having to release Jackson.

For Jackson, he gets a chance to test the market for the first time in his career. Jackson’s heart may still be in St. Louis, where he has played his entire NFL career since being drafted in 2004. He still could end up with the Rams, but they must now compete for his services with the rest of the NFL.

It’s uncertain what the market will be for Jackson. But more than anything, Jackson wants to play for not only a playoff contender but a Super Bowl contender if possible. He has not played in a postseason game since his rookie season with the Rams.