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NFL roundup: Jackson voids contract; Falcons near stadium deal

The SportsXchange

Steven Jackson officially voided the final year of his contract with the St. Louis Rams, and he'll become an unrestricted free agent Tuesday, a league source confirmed to The Sports Xchange on Thursday.

Jackson was scheduled to be paid $7 million in 2013, but an agreement in September between Jackson and the team gave him the right to void the final year of his deal to test the open market.

Jackson, a first-round pick in 2004 out of Oregon State, has only played for the Rams. He turns 30 on July 22, and despite a history of minor injuries, he has an active streak of eight consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.

Agent Eugene Parker acknowledged that the door isn't closed to the possibility that Jackson could still end up re-signing with the Rams.

Coach Jeff Fisher said he remains confident and optimistic a way will be figured out for Jackson to return.

Said Fisher, "Jack knows how I feel about him and that we want him back."

--Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank and mayor Kasim Reed are expected to announce an agreement to build a new stadium in downtown Atlanta, according to WAGA-TV.

Reed accelerated the city's efforts to complete a deal for a stadium that would replace the Georgia Dome since Falcons team president Rich McKay made comments in early February that the franchise was open to relocating to the suburbs if the city couldn't meet its needs.

Those needs specifically include a price tag of an estimated $1 billion for a retractable roof stadium that would help the city retain chances at major sporting events, including the Final Four, Super Bowl and other sports such as international soccer.

The Falcons and NFL, through a stadium expense program created to fund construction and renovation projects, likely would be responsible for as much as $800 million of the estimated bill.

There was no vote from the state legislature -- nor is one required -- but many in the state have been vocal in opposition of any public funding for the new stadium. Reed said in February the city would be able to come up with the $200 million required through bonds and supported by a hotel tax.

--Linebacker Takeo Spikes was released by the San Diego Chargers.

The 15-year veteran played the past two seasons with the Chargers, but he is 36 and wasn't expected to return to the team next season.

Spikes has played in 219 career games, with 1,737 tackles. He has posted 11 career 100-tackle seasons.

--Veteran right tackle Eric Winston's stay with in Kansas City lasted just one season. The Chiefs released Winston on Wednesday, one year after signing the 6-foot-7, 300-pound former University of Miami star to a four-year, $22 million contract.

Winston was an outspoken critic of Chiefs fans last season. He said he was "sickened" by their reaction when quarterback Matt Cassel was forced to leave a game against the Baltimore Ravens with a concussion.

The Kansas City Star said the release of Winston and the Chiefs using the franchise tag on Branden Albert paves the way for Texas A&M offensive lineman Luke Joeckel to be taken with the first overall pick in April's NFL Draft.

The 29-year-old Winston started all 16 games last year, helping to clear the way for running back Jamaal Charles to rush for an AFC-leading 1,509 yards.

--Kicker Rob Bironas re-signed with the Tennessee Titans for two more years.

Bironas has spent his entire eight-year career with Tennessee, and he hasn't missed a game. He converted 25 of 31 field goals in 2012, his worst single-season percentage since 2006.

--A recently retired NFL linebacker with suicidal thoughts was helped by a new league initiative designed to prevent such tragedies, according to a CBSSports.com report.

The NFL confirmed the story, but it wouldn't reveal the former player or the two responders.

With the player facing a rough transition, his wife contacted the NFL. Two former players were dispatched from a program that employs ex-players and coaches to assist recently retired players. The three men spent three days together, bonding over their careers and talking frankly about the challenges of leading a more normal lifestyle.

The time spent was a success, as the troubled player was talking about the future rather than ending his own life.

--The Buffalo Bills announced that they've re-signed linebacker Bryan Scott. Terms weren't disclosed, as per team policy.

Scott had 45 solo tackles and a career-best four interceptions in 16 games last season. In 10 NFL seasons, six with the Bills, he has 11 interceptions.

--New York Giants cornerback Corey Webster and center David Baas agreed to reduced salaries to stay with the team, according to a New York Daily News report.

Webster will earn $4 million in the final year of his deal, instead of the $7.25 he was scheduled to receive.

Baas restructured his base salary of $4.25 million to $1.25 million for this season, according to the NFL Players Association website. Bass will recover the missing salary as a $3 million bonus, an NFL source told the paper.

The two deals gave the Giants $8 million to $9 million in cap space. The extra room might help the Giants tender restricted free agents like Victor Cruz, Andre Brown and Stevie Brown. The team also hopes to re-sign some of its free agents such as Kevin Boothe and Martellus Bennett.

--The San Francisco 49ers tendered restricted free agent cornerback Tramaine Brock and signed wide receiver Joe Hastings to a one-year deal.

Brock's tender would pay him $1,323,000 for 2013. He was primarily a special teams player in 2012, logging 15 tackles on coverage units.

--The Cincinnati Bengals re-signed halfback Cedric Peerman and extended tender offers to three other players with expiring contracts.

Fourth-year safety Jeromy Miles, third-year wide receiver Andrew Hawkins and third-year linebacker Vincent Rey -- all restricted free agents -- were tendered offers that allow the Bengals to retain exclusive negotiating rights for 2013.
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