Jackson can void final year of contract

St. Louis Rams running Steven Jackson can void the final year of

his contract after this season in a compromise after talks fell

through on a long-term extension.

The running back confirmed terms of the deal to the Associated

Press on Friday.

”It’s part of the business,” Jackson told reporters. ”I’ve

said that from the beginning that, even in 2004, I wanted to retire

here. This organization gave me the opportunity to live out a

dream.

”In 2008 they extended me and at the end of the season we’ll

see what happens with me. But something is happening here and I

want to be a part of it.”

The three-time Pro Bowler is the franchise’s career leading

rusher and the senior Ram after getting drafted in the first round

in 2004. The Rams signed two other core players, defensive end

Chris Long and middle linebacker James Laurinaitis, to long-term

extensions earlier this summer.

Jackson has seven straight 1,000-yard seasons, the longest

active streak in the NFL. He’s making $7 million this season and

would make $7 million in 2013, too, and must notify the team by

early February if he wants to void the deal.

”We want to have Jack back,” coach Jeff Fisher said. ”We want

him to be a part of our future. Jack is one of the major faces of

this franchise and we’d like to give him an opportunity to finish

his career here.”

Jackson has been slowed by a groin injury much of this season

but took a heavier load in Thursday night’s victory over the

Cardinals with a season-best 76 yards on 18 carries for a 4.3-yard

average. He leads the Rams with 271 yards rushing and a 3.5-yard

average.