Steven Jackson isn't having what you'd call a contract year, but he is, apparently, set to become a free agent. The St. Louis Rams will void their star's contract for 2013, allowing him to test free agency just 12 games from now. It's a weird piece of news—after spending most of his career with awful Rams clubs, he could be leaving right as they return to form. Weirder still: It comes out after Jackson's put together a string of games that have fans convinced he's either hurt or in a tailspin.
No word yet as to why, but this seems like an odd move for Steven Jackson; through four games he's on pace for the worst season of his career by far, running the ball 49 times for just 195 yards. Leaving after 2012 gives him another chance for a long-term deal at 30, but to be offered a long-term contract at this point he'll have to make sure the next three quarters of the season are vintage Jackson.
It'd be unfortunate for Jackson's Rams career to end this way, with better times ahead and his numbers in freefall, but there's still a lot of football left to play; both Jackson and the Rams still have most of their 2012 narrative unwritten. A big season from both parties concerned could make the aftermath of this decision even more confusing.