Steven Jackson

The Green Bay Packers and free agent running back Steven Jackson are talking contract. They’re talking a three-year contract to be exact.

Rob Demovsky says the two sides are working on the details. Is a deal imminent?

Well, Adam Schefter prematurely tweeted that a deal was done earlier today and then deleted that tweet, so we’re going to go with no. That being said, it looks like the writing is on the wall.

Jackson has stood around and watched on the second day of free agency while other running backs — Reggie Bush, Rashard Mendenhall, etc. — signed deals. The market is starting to dry up and that gives the Packers some leverage.

The fact that Atlanta, the other team said to be in the mix for Jackson, doesn’t appear to be that interested also is working in the Packers favor.

The Packers have long been interested in Jackson, but only at their price. The only question is, why a three-year deal for a guy who’s 30? Probably because that’s what the Packers have to give up to get the deal done. The devil is in the details on this one.

The key, for the Packers, is not only paying the price they want, but also structuring the deal in way that won’t kill their salary cap if they part ways with Jackson before the deal expires. Running backs’ production historically drops off when they hit 30, so the chances of Jackson being a starter until he’s 33 are slim.

The Packers need to think about the possibility of releasing Jackson before his deal is up. That’s where things like signing bonuses,  which are prorated over the life of a contract for salary cap purposes, come into play.