Fred Jackson would have “done anything” to retire with Bills


We’ve heard from Bills G.M. Doug Whaley regarding the decision to part ways with running back Fred Jackson after 10 years with franchise. We’ve yet to hear from Jackson.

But here’s what PFT has heard, given that Whaley didn’t really say much regarding the decision to move on from Jackson.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Jackson would have “done anything” to retire with the Bills. Jackson, however, wasn’t given that chance.

In meeting with the media, Whaley answered questions but said nothing, citing “competitive reasons” for not elaborating on the decision to move on from Jackson.

Whaley declined to say whether the Bills tried to trade Jackson, but he acknowledged that the salary cap was part of the decision. If so, the cap number could have been reduced. Again, Jackson wasn’t given that chance.

The question now becomes whether Jackson will get that chance elsewhere. The Browns make plenty of sense, given the fact that coach Mike Pettine spent time in Buffalo as defensive coordinator. Other teams with needs in the top two spots of the depth chart make sense, too.

Still, Jackson would have more options if the decision had come earlier. While Whaley tried to paint the timing of the decision as a favor to Jackson in his effort to find a new team, the real favor would have been to let Jackson go in March, so that he could land on a team has already made other plans based on the players who were available in March.

And April. And May. And June. And July. And August 1 through August 30.

91 responses to “Fred Jackson would have “done anything” to retire with Bills

  1. Class guy and a very good running back. This from a Pats season ticket holder. My guess is about November 10, they’ll wish they still had him on the roster. Great pickup for some other team.

  2. Whaley didn’t want to look foolish for giving up a fourth round pick for Bryce Brown (aka. “the fumble machine”) and Rex likes Boobie Dixon. Jackson is a casualty of Whaley’s pride, incompetence, and an organization that continues to overvalue the running back position.

  3. I said something along these lines it in the last thread, but it’s more appropriate to say it here:

    Cutting Fred was a dumb move. Teams’ W-L records tend to suffer when leaders like this are let go.

    Shady’s better on the field, for sure, but there’s no way he can provide the kind of leadership F-Jax can. He’s not even half the man Fred is. And if you don’t think real locker room leadership translates into wins and losses, you know little about team sports.

  4. Lesean McCoy
    Boobie Dixon
    Karlos Williams
    Bryce Brown

    sorry to see fred go but this is still a stellar backfield.

  5. So when a player asks to renegotiate a contract or is unhappy about a franchise tag, he’s a disloyal SOB – but when when the team turns around and cuts a vet like Jackson without even trying to work something out it’s “just business.” OK.

  6. Therein lies the proof that you never pay attention to stooge fans or owners calling for players to take a ” home town discount”

  7. Jackson looked great this week and had the fans out of their seats, riled up and cheering. What a dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb move.


  8. When I read he was released it really stood out to me. Whenever I watched a Bills game he was the most productive player and sounded like a real leader in every interview. He was interviewed in their last game and sounded optimistic about their offense . Bills fans can’t be happy.

    The team I cheer for has a top 3 HB and a solid running back up but would love to see Fred Jackson take the number two role.

  9. Money. Happens all the time. ALL THE TIME! There’s no reason to be loyal to a team in the NFL. How many players with lengthy careers actually get to go off unto the sunset with the team they were drafted with?

    I’m just throwing a number around but I think it’s less than even 10%

  10. classless move on the Bills part, this guy has ruined my Dolphins’ playoff dreams singlehandedly 2 years running (I know that’s an exaggeration).
    I’ve loved watching how hard a runner Jackson is, Florio has a good point, why not let him go earlier to find another home and fit in their scheme.
    Ryan’s an idiot, I hope Jackson goes to the Pats, or the Fins and he can terrorize the Bills.

  11. cueghost says:
    Aug 31, 2015 3:29 PM

    Id like to see him go to the Cowboys. I hope he gets on a SB contender and not the browns. This dude deserves to see a SB, i wish it was with the Bills but regardless I hope he gets there.

  12. mikermiker says:
    Aug 31, 2015 3:28 PM
    Lesean McCoy
    Boobie Dixon
    Karlos Williams
    Bryce Brown

    sorry to see fred go but this is still a stellar backfield.

    lol, I’ve heard of only one of those scrubs. Jackson was a clear #2.

  13. I know its easy to sit here and second guess based on what we read on this web site and other information channels but I think this is a mistake.

    LeSean McCoy better be mentally ready and completely over the Eagles or its going to be tough sledding for Taylor at QB with no veteran leadership at a skilled position.

  14. The Browns need to give him a call right now! They have a serious need for a veteran in the backfield. They drafted a running back who is out of action again with another injury, and their 2 current backs (West and Crowell) can’t seem to get it going.

  15. mikermiker says:
    Aug 31, 2015 3:28 PM
    Lesean McCoy
    Boobie Dixon
    Karlos Williams
    Bryce Brown

    sorry to see fred go but this is still a stellar backfield.
    Melvin Gordon
    Donnie Woodhead
    Brandon Oliver
    Donald Brown
    Ronnie Brown (off and on)

    Now THAT’S a depth chart to be envious of.

    Wish my Chargers had room for Fred Jackson. What a class act.

  16. People said the same thing when the Hoodie ran Lawyer Milloy off. Pats fans were the angriest. “He’s nuts” What a stupid move” “Fire him”

    While Fred is a leader he’s not exactly dominant. He’s rushed for 1000 yards once in 9 years. He averaged 5 TD’s as well. 2.6 million should buy more production than that.

  17. Fans don’t realize that these decisions aren’t made by what happens in preseason games. It’s what happens in practices during the week. Sometimes the decisions are made before the games. If someone comes on here and says that Fred had an outstanding training camp, then there should be valid outrage. If not, then it’s money, age, and durability as the reasons why he was let go.

  18. Fred Jackson was the only consistent person on the Bills offense for the past 8 years! But it is the NFL where loyalty is a one-sided relationship.

  19. If he wanted to retire this year, he could have. He wants to play. That’s why he can’t retire with the Bills. Yet. But, he will retire as a member of the Buffalo Bills. That’s a bet I’d take 100 times out of 100. Even if he goes to another team and wins a superbowl ring. Does anyone believe he would retire as a member of THAT team, especially considering, he probably wouldn’t be the workhorse that gets said team to the superbowl?? No. He’ll retire as a Bill.

  20. I love Fred and his work ethic and leadership. However, in the Bills’ defense, he has had trouble staying healthy the last 2 years and he missed a large chunk of the preseason this year due to injury. At 34, there’s only so many more times that he can come back from injury.

  21. As a Pats fan, I was never sure if FJax was the most talented guy on the Bills, but he was their most consistent player for a good stretch there and, in terms of maximizing one’s own talent, the most consistent. Much respect.

  22. Fred has been loyal to his team and the fans of Buffalo. The Bills tried to out him more than once and every time they brought in young talent, Fred outplayed and continued to be their feature back. I remember when they drafted Spiller to be the man and look how that went. As a Dolphin fan, I have nothing but respect for Fred and would love to have him in Miami. We don’t have much depth behind Miller and Williams so we can cut James and bring in a solid leader, that would be nice.

  23. God help them…that’s you Rex and Whaley….if they DON’T make the playoffs this year.

    Don’t understand how you cut one of the few guys that will die on the field for you when he can still play. You are going to need that desire to break out this slump.

    Don’t get it.

  24. “the real favor would have been to let Jackson go in March…”

    So you are saying that the Bills should have cut Freddie loose before they drafted Karlos Williams, or before they made it through camp with players who showed themseleves to be talented (and young) who remained healthy, just because they think they might be ready to move on? I love Freddie, but he had already been hurt in training camp, was dinged a few times in the last few years, doesn’t play special teams, and is 34 years old. I hate that he is gone, and he is one of my all time favorite people, but GMs have a job to do.

  25. Stellar? LeSean in icy cold Buffalo weather…and will get P.O.’d after about the Nth number of times he’s brought down in the backfield because nobody respect the Bills passing O/QBs. Brown is a fumble machine. Williams is a rookie who has been injured. And Dixon.

  26. There are guys on other teams in your division that you hold in very high regard. As a Pats fan, Fred Jackson has always been one of those guys.

  27. Fred Jackson deserves better than this.
    Bills played the veteran in meanlessing preseason games before cutting him, just days before the season opening. WTF

  28. Even as a Pats’ fan, it is sad to see this.
    Some players, you just can’t help but to admire. No matter what team they are on.
    He is a classy leader.
    I have a feeling that the Bills will be sorry for this move. Good luck Fred!

  29. They finally got rid of Fred and now I know who to blame. This is a move Doug Whaley wanted to make since he drafted C.J. Spiller. Always tried to bury Jackson in the depth chart.

    There was all this buzz around C.J. and how he would be the lead RB, but it never panned out that way. Even after Jackson established himself the prior year as the Bills top running back. C.J. was always looked at as the starter only to be outplayed by Jackson.

    Now that there’s no C.J. and how many RB’s have lasted as long as Fred Jackson in Buffalo? I get it, the Bills have McCoy, Rex might of made a compromise with the G.M. and cut Jackson or just wants to have “players he wants.” This way there’s no question who is the top running back in Buffalo.

    Browns, Steelers, Broncos, Rams, Packers are a few teams that might give Fred a call……… maybe more?

  30. I understand all the love fans here in Buffalo have for Jackson. The fact remains that hes the oldest HB in the league, pleaying as a backup, with steadily declining production, no value on special teams, with several younger players doing equally well behind him, and with a $2.5 million cap hit that can now be used to help resign one of the 3 crutial star players without contracts going forward.

    If you look at it from an objective view point, the cut really makes sense.

    As for not releasing him in march, the team didnt have the options it did in march now. Mainly, Karlos Williams who has been equally productive as Jackson with a similar play style. If the draft were before March, he would have been gone then.

  31. He’s a 34 year old running back for gods sake!!!!!!!!!!! Get over all this sentimental crap! He’s 34! And a running back ! In the NFL ! Get over it!

  32. I guess none of you have seen Karlos Williams run yet. A younger tougher cheaper version if Fred Jackson. IMO the Bills had to wait they had to see what Williams could do first. Fred Jackson is certainly a good RB and will find a job fast. Team loyalty to players is a thing of the past. Loves watching him thru the years. Wish him nothing but the best.

  33. bills99 says:
    Aug 31, 2015 4:04 PM
    God help them…that’s you Rex and Whaley….if they DON’T make the playoffs this year.

    Don’t understand how you cut one of the few guys that will die on the field for you when he can still play. You are going to need that desire to break out this slump.

    Don’t get it.
    Agree 100%. Not a Bills fan but always admired the way Jackson played. I don’t think this is a smart football move, all things considered. Sounds like Jackson probably would’ve re-worked the contract if they asked him, but they didn’t even ask him apparently.

  34. Fred J is a class act…being a Jet fan I’ve had the pleasure(or Pain!lol) to watch him for the last 10 years. Every locker room in the league wishes they could have a guy like him. That being said he is at the later part of his career. I understand that it would have made no sense for Buffalo to have released him in March like the writer implied, but they could of let him go a short time after the draft….Good luck Fred…hope you get a shot somewhere else!

  35. kfoyo808 says:
    Aug 31, 2015 4:06 PM
    Stellar? LeSean in icy cold Buffalo weather…

    You do realize that LeSean is used to playing in weather similar to Buffalo

  36. He’ll looks awesome in the Navy Blue and Silver of the Pats. The Pats fans have a ton of respect for Fred.

    The Pats just need him for those two games against Buffalo as he proves them wrong. It will be like a 4 game swing for them and give the Pats their 13th division championship in 15 years.

  37. NE would be nice, but we have no cap $ right now, and….we’re going to be looking for a real cb from upcoming cuts. We desperately need help in the secondary.

  38. I like Fred Jackson and I hope the Patriots make a move to pick him up. He deserves a chance to be somewhere that is in serious contention for the title every year.

  39. Last year, despite injuries, Jackson got over 1000 combined yards (525 rush, 501 pass). He was the team’s leading rusher and top receiving threat out of the backfield.

    Seems like he should have at least one more decent season in him.

  40. If he retires now he can still retire with the Bills.

    He has a ton of heart but the guy is 34, that is ancient for a running back. Nobody plays forever.

  41. jazz11001 says:
    Aug 31, 2015 6:02 PM
    Hey Bills…you’re making the 49’ers look classy….

    I’m sure he’ll curse the Bills for giving him 9 years and 17 million dollars. Total screw job on their part, cutting a 34 year old RB owed 2.5 mil.

  42. That was a tacky move, to not give him a chance to stay. I am sure he will find a job somewhere, and hopefully go back and haunt the Bills.

  43. mikermiker says:
    Aug 31, 2015 3:28 PM

    Lesean McCoy
    Boobie Dixon
    Karlos Williams
    Bryce Brown

    sorry to see fred go but this is still a stellar backfield.


    Everyone you listed, after McCoy, is a hack.

  44. Hate this move by my Bills, cut Bryce Brown instead, you know, the fumbler who has done nothing so far as a Bill but lose us a game and ride the pine. I’m also getting tired of Whaley’s act. If they have a bad season this is going to get ugly fast. I’m going to give him the season but he has made several moves that could easily backfire, the Clay signing, the Shady trade and extension, the Watkins pick, now cutting Fred.

  45. I guess the Bills Front Office has now been influenced by the Jets inept thinking with Rex on board. “You hang with the Dogs; you catch their Fleas”. Total classless move to a good player. I hope he winds up with a SB contender or better yet with another AFC East team and then pounds the Bills twice.

  46. He should be glad to get out of Buffalo. Even Cleveland looks like a better spot. CLEVELAND!

  47. He’ll get picked up somewhere, too good of a presence and still has something left in the tank. Dumb move imo, McCoy had a down year last year who’s to say it’s not going to happen again.

  48. CW was done according to many 3yrs ago. Come to the Dark Side. A Fred Jackson at 30 or 38 is more productive than a Sheldon Richardson at any age!

  49. Bills are bozos for that move…he is baller every year.

    Man how times have changed….RBs in the NFL seem to be a dime a dozen with now loyalty or willingness to keep them on rosters.

  50. Gut played D3 college football, aka subtract 4 years off his age. Pats appreciate dependability over ability. This move solidifies another few years of mediocrity in Buffalo.

  51. While this move is not ridiculous – Jackson is 34 and has had injury issues the last few years (though he is still a valuable short term rb) – whaley is really clueless. He let a really good receiving TE in chandler walk when he could have retained him for very little – and Chandler is going to put up some nice numbers for a team the Bills will compete directly against (the pats…). And despite the fact the Bills haven’t had a good QB in decades, he’s drafted only one in his 3 years as GM, and that was a failed reach in EJ Manuel. Luckily (maybe), ryan suggested grabbing Tyrod Taylor (who looks very impressive to me) and sure enough, he won the starting job over Whaleys EJ and his trade acquisition, Matt Cassel. And on top of that, the guy he drafted with the Bills first pick, Ronald Darby, has been absolutely atrocious so far in the preseason. I’ve never seen a CB so routinely burned and abused.

  52. Hire a coach with a history of classless behavior

    Trade for a running back with a history of classless behavior

    First pick of the 2015 draft taped the Jameis (classles)Winston incident and draft others with character concers

    Sign an OL with a history of classless behavior and is just plan classless as a person all togther.

    Cut the face of the franchise, team leader, community spokesman, and all around CLASS ACT & genuinely good human being in the last week of camp-CLASSLESS

    Everyone around here wants to get back into the playoffs, but exactly at what expense-by turing into “one of those teams?”


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