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Steven Jackson admits he considered NFL retirement

Steven Jackson reportedly was close to signing with the Green Bay Packers before reaching a deal with the Atlanta Falcons. The veteran running back, however, said on Friday that retirement from the NFL also was an option.

"I was thinking about maybe retiring," Jackson told Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter D. Orlando Ledbetter. "I really considered that. I really contemplated, 'Do I continue to play football or do I retire?'

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"That's one thing I admire about Barry Sanders."

Jackson accepted a three-year contract worth $12 million with $4 million guaranteed from the Falcons. He voided the final year of his deal with the St. Louis Rams that was worth $7 million.

Jackson replaces Michael Turner, who was released. This should be the most talented offense Jackson has been a part of, and he won't have to carry the load with Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez also on the Falcons.

The Falcons, obviously, present a better chance for the 29-year-old running back to win a championship. Who predicted that the Falcons' offense actually would improve this offseason? The return of Gonzalez, plus the addition of Jackson, might do exactly that.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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