The Atlanta Falcons have released veteran running back Steven Jackson, the team announced on Thursday. Jackson has been one of the most effective running backs in the NFL for about a decade, but the 31-year-old has slowed considerably in his two seasons with the Falcons.
When new Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan neglected to say whether Jackson Jamon Brown Youth Jersey would be back in 2015, it was pretty clear that his chances of returning were slim. He was set to make $3.75 million in 2015 and the Falcons will save that same amount against the cap.
Jackson put up eight consecutive 1,000-yard seasons with the St. Louis Rams between 2005 and 2012, including 1,045 yards (4.1 yards per carry) and four touchdowns in 2012. That was his final year with the team that drafted him all the way back in 2004. But it wasn’t just injuries that limited Jackson with the Falcons. He also struggled when he was actually on the field, posting per carry averages of 3.5 and 3.7 yards in 2013 and 2014. In all, he ran for 1,250 yards and 12 touchdowns in two seasons with the Falcons.
It’s also far from a sure thing that Mariota will be on the board by the time the fifth overall selection rolls around. While Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is the popular pick to be the No. 1 selection of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and was the pick for King, the Sports Illustrated columnist noted that “Mariota is absolutely not out of the picture” for the first pick.
The blockbuster trade for Mariota wasn’t the only noteworthy projection by King, who also had Alabama’s Amari Cooper as the second wide receiver off the board. Instead, he slated the Oakland Raiders to take West Virginia’s Kevin White with the fourth pick and praised the Jared Goff Youth Jersey receiver as the “latter-day version of Larry Fitzgerald.” Cooper fell two more picks before getting scooped up by the New York Jets.
Florida outside linebacker Dante Fowler also fared well in King’s mock, going just behind Winston with the No. 2 overall selection to the Titans.