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Jackson Signs With Falcons; Atlanta's Offense Gets A Bump
As ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported, the Atlanta Falcons agreed to a contract with free-agent running back Steven Jackson on Thursday. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the team confirmed signing Jackson to a three-year contract.

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 last 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 SiriumXM 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 averaged 4.1 yards per carry while rushing for 1,042 yards and four touchdowns last season working behind an offensive line that was less than stellar. Jackson has handled as many as 346 carries a season in his career.

Jackson negotiated for the chance to opt out of his current contract at the end of last season with one year left on the deal.

Although he was most recently reported to be in discussions with the Packers, the Falcons were considered the early favorites to land Jackson. And it makes sense. The veteran running back, who has proven to be a very capable receiver in the past (see his 90-catch season in 2006), should have more than enough left in the tank to give Atlanta's rushing attack (and in turn, their already potent passing game) a boost.

Indeed, from a Fantasy perspective, anything that makes Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez (who informed the team of his plans to return for another season earlier this week) more dangerous is good news.

The one question is how much of the workload Jackson will share with Jacquizz Rodgers. Based on the fact he's made no secret of his desire to be used in a featured role, you have to believe Jackson has at least some assurances that won't be the case.'s Pat Yasinskas believes the team is looking for a running back than can handle between 200 and 250 carries and split time with Rodgers. And while he isn't looking for another 90-catch season, Yasinskas went on to suggest if Jackson can give them 30 to 40 catches, he will make the offense a lot more complete.

For the record, Jackson currently stands at 10,135 career rushing yards and needs 2,144 yards to equal Marshall Faulk, who Jackson replaced with the Rams, to get into the top 10 all-time.

Jackson also has 3,324 career receiving yards, including 38 receptions and 321 yards last season. The 29-year-old Jackson has rushed for at least 1,000 yards in eight straight seasons. ...

Stay tuned. ... I'll be following up on Jackson, Rodgers and the team's plans for dividing the workload over the course of the offseason. ...

Worth noting: Long-time starting center Todd McClure has announced he'll retire. Replacing McClure’s leadership and experience won’t be easy. But the Falcons do have some other options at center and they’ve prepared for this moment by drafting Peter Konz and Joe Hawley in recent years.

The most likely scenario is Konz, who started at guard the second half of last season, shifting to center. That’s the position Konz played in college. If Konz makes the move, it could clear the way for Garrett Reynolds to move back in as a starting guard. Reynolds began last season as a starter. But he suffered an injury and was replaced by Konz.