Free agent running back Steven Jackson has agreed to terms with the Atlanta Falcons, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
The Falcons' official Twitter page reports that the deal spans three seasons. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Jackson hit the free agent market after the St. Louis Rams provided him with the option to void the final year of his contract. The Rams are preparing to go forth with 2012 draft choices Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead in the backfield.
Jackson drew interest from both the Green Bay Packers and Falcons before deciding on Atlanta on Thursday. The Falcons were in the market for a veteran back after releasing Michael Turner earlier this month. Turner topped 1,300 three times during his first five seasons with the Falcons, but was released after averaging just 3.6 yards per carry in 2012 and watching his 2013 base salary swell from $5.5 million to $6.9 million.
The Falcons, who lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game, had the NFL's eighth-ranked offense last season, but were just 29th when running the ball, averaging less than 88 yards per game. The 6-foot-1, 231-pound Jackson gives the Falcons a powerful inside runner to pair with Jacquizz Rodgers, a smaller, faster back who can attack the opponents' edges.
Selected in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft out of Oregon State, Jackson has rushed for 10,135 yards and 56 touchdowns with 407 receptions for 3,324 and eight touchdowns out of the backfield. The three-time Pro Bowler has rushed for 1,000 or more yards in eight straight seasons and is the Rams' all-time leader in rushing yards and is tied with Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson second in club history in rushing touchdowns, trailing Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk by two scores. Jackson also ranks fifth in Rams' history in receptions and is fourth in total touchdowns.
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