Falcons: moving on from Jackson
Two years ago Steven Jackson joined the Falcons in an attempt to join a winning football team. After two seasons below .500, Atlanta has chosen to move on without him.
His 3.7 yards per carry last year was not an impressive mark, but on average he was getting contacted just 1 yard past the line of scrimmage. His 2.7 yards after contact per carry was fifth-best for backs with at least 100 rushing attempts. The Falcons were a team filled with good receiving backs, but he stood out as a reliable option without dropping a pass and allowed just one pressure all year for a 99.0 Pass Blocking Efficiency. Overall, he played very well while sharing snaps and deserves another chance somewhere.
One of the factors that led to his release was his age. He’s been in the league since 2004, while every other halfback still in the league joined since 2005. While the Falcons weren’t in a bad place financially, the move does save them close to $4 million.
In his first year in the league, Devonta Freeman was fourth-best in Yards Per Route Run at 1.80 and should see an increase in playing time. Atlanta’s other runners, Jacquizz Rodgers and Antone Smith, are both free agents, but one or both could be re-signed as someone will likely share the playing time with Freeman this season.