The Atlanta Falcons agreed to a three-year contract with free-agent running back Steven Jackson on Thursday, the team announced on its Twitter account.
The Falcons had released running back Michael Turner, the team’s starter last season, before the start of free agency.
As expected, Jackson voided his contract with the St. Louis Rams on Thursday, making the 29-year-old an unrestricted free agent. He said last week that he wanted to start for whichever team he signed with in free agency.
“For where I’m at, going into Year 10, I’m not ready to step back and just become a primary backup or a reduced-role guy to be part of a running back by committee,” Jackson said on Sirius XM NFL Radio last week. “I still have a lot left in my tank. I still have a lot left to offer to a team. We’re not talking about someone that’s in Year 12 or 13.”
Jackson negotiated for the chance to opt out of his contract at the end of last season with one year left on the deal.
He stands at 10,135 yards and needs 2,144 yards to equal Marshall Faulk, who Jackson replaced with the Rams, to get into the top 10.
Jackson also has 3,324 career receiving yards, including 38 receptions and 321 yards last season.
A three-time Pro Bowler, Jackson has rushed for at least 1,000 yards in eight straight seasons. According to ESPN Stats & Information, only three players in NFL history have a longer streak of consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons than Jackson’s current run: Emmitt Smith (11 from 1991-01), Curtis Martin (10 from 1995-04) and Barry Sanders (10 from 1989-98). All are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.