The Bills are opening their starting running back job to competition in 2012, but Fred Jackson will be a big part of the backfield regardless. And the Bills want Jackson to be with them for the long haul.
In a recent Sirius XM Radio appearance, transcribed by BuffaloBills.com, G.M. Buddy Nix expressed the utmost confidence that the club will finalize an extension with Jackson before training camp opens.
“Fred and I have visited a couple of times,” said Nix. “Fred has been vocal some about wanting a new deal and that kind of thing, so finally I called him in and we talked twice.
“I told him we’re going to offer you an extension. We had priorities with guys that were unrestricted, that we didn’t want to lose. I told him when we get through it, we’ll at least do it before training camp. That way, there’s no chance of him getting hurt. He’ll be healthy and he’ll have an extension before he goes to camp.”
The tricky part with Jackson is the structure of an extension. While Jackson has relatively low mileage after a slow start to his NFL career, he turned 31 last month and his best years will be behind him sooner rather than later.
The Bills have now said repeatedly this offseason that they want to extend Jackson’s deal, which has only one year remaining. Jackson’s scheduled 2012 base salary is $1.955 million.