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Steven Jackson hints he could retire from NFL at age 29

The St. Louis Rams are out of the playoff race, but Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks offers at least one intriguing storyline: the possible conclusion to a player's wonderful NFL career.

Rams running back Steven Jackson will have the option to test the free-agent market after the season, but his mind drifted beyond football Thursday. The nine-year veteran told The Associated Press he might choose to retire. Jackson said this with a smile, but he didn't entirely dismiss the thought when pressed on it.

"If I have to write my story," Jackson said, "I'd rather go out like Barry Sanders and leaving people to want more than to leave too late.

Added Jackson: "I'll allow myself that time to sit back and reflect and think about things I've accomplished in my career and what I've done this season. And think about how much longer I want to play this game, as well. There's going to be a small window of opportunity, and I want to make sure I take full advantage of it."

Jackson, 29, has said for months that he wants to finish his career with the Rams. The Rams are on record as saying they're interested in re-signing him, but they also can turn to Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson.

We don't expect Jackson to retire. He's 10 yards shy of his eighth consecutive 1,000-yard season.

The Rams might choose to move on -- and so might Jackson from St. Louis -- but plenty of teams would take a chance on this running back. If Ryan Grant can return from deep space to land late-season carries with the Green Bay Packers, there's no way Jackson will stay home on his couch next season. That's not how this works.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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