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Return, retire or test free agency? Steven Jackson undecided

Seattle Seahawks v St. Louis Rams

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 30: Running back Steven Jackson #39 of the St. Louis Rams runs the ball during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at the Edward Jones Dome on September 30, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the Seahawks 19-13. (Photo by David Welker/Getty Images)

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Rams running back Steven Jackson said before the Rams’ regular season finale that it was possible he might be preparing for his last NFL game. Three weeks later, he still says he isn’t sure if he’ll return to the Rams, leave in free agency or retire.

Jackson said on NFL Network that he expects to talk things over with the Rams before free agency begins in March.

“We’re going to sit down in this next coming month in February,” Jackson said. “Both sides have been very first-class about how we handle the situation. We’re going to talk about my possibilities, where I want to go and does it fit. I believe we’ll get everything resolved before March.”

If the Rams and Jackson don’t get something resolved, he’ll consider signing elsewhere, particularly if it’s with a team he thinks has a good chance of winning the Super Bowl. But he’ll also consider retirement, even though he’s only 29 and coming off a season in which he started all 16 games and topped 1,000 yards for the eighth straight year. Jackson believes there’s something to be said for walking away on your own terms.

“It’s a possibility for me to go into free agency and hopefully seek out that Lombardi trophy,” Jackson said. “Or even possibly going out like Barry Sanders. I’ve always admired that about Mr. Sanders.”

Jackson is actually a year younger than Sanders was when he retired, but he sounds like a man who’s satisfied with what he’s already accomplished on the football field. The way Jackson is talking, it wouldn’t be surprising if it turns out we’ve seen him play for the last time.