Fred Jackson has played all of his nine seasons in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills, but if the running back is going to continue his playing career, it will have to be elsewhere, as the Bills have cut him, according to Buffalo News sportswriter Vic Carucci.
Jackson rushed for more than 5,600 yards and 30 touchdowns in nine seasons for the Bills. Last year, Jackson ran for 525 yards on more than 140 carries. He’s ranked third behind Thurman Thomas and O.J. Simpson on the team’s career rushing list.
Bills GM Doug Whaley released a statement through the Bills PR twitter account on Monday morning:
“Today we had to make the difficult decision to release Fred Jackson. He had an incredible career for this organization for the past 10 years. We thank Fred for his hard work, dedication, and leadership during his tenure with the Buffalo Bills. Fred has inspired the city of Buffalo in a number of ways. Fred and his family have been dedicated to this community and we can’t thank them enough for their contributions through his career.”
This move comes as a bit of a surprise, as Jackson was slated to be the backup to LeSean McCoy in Rex Ryan’s backfield this season. Behind McCoy, the Bills will now have to rely on sixth-year back Boobie Dixon and rookie Karlos Williams.
Jackson’s release may be due to the fact that he was owed $2.3 million this season, although NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that Jackson was not asked to take a pay cut and was simply released from his contract.
Jackson is 34, but still has proven he can be effective as a backup, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see someone scoop him up before the start of the season. Jackson is from Texas, and Houston is without Arian Foster for a while, so that would make a lot of sense, while Dallas also reportedly has interest. Miami, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, or maybe even New England are other teams with backfield questions that could opt to sign Jackson in the next couple of weeks.