ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Buffalo Bills fan favorite did not survive a mandatory round of cuts ahead of regular season play. Bills management decided to part ways with running back Fred Jackson.
In a statement paired with the decision to release the famed player, who wore number 22 throughout his eight-year career in Buffalo, Bills General Manager Doug Whaley said the decision wasn’t an easy one.
“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,” Whaley said.
The team didn’t attempt to negotiate a deal out with the 34-year-old running back to convince him to stay, according to an NFL insider. Jackson’s contract reportedly would have paid out $2.35 million in the coming season.
Jackson led the Buffalo Bills as a captain both on and off the field, inspiring both his teammates and fans with his stoic nature. Some of his fellow teammates took to Twitter to express their gratitude for his guidance in an ever-changing league.
Holding the title of oldest active running back in the NFL, Jackson rarely failed to produce for the Bills. In recent years, Jackson worked in tandem with C.J. Spiller, who team leaders also phased out in lieu of LeSean McCoy, to bolster the team’s offense.
On Saturday, Bills fans saw Jackson score his final touchdown in a Bills uniform after he ripped off a 41-yard run and capped off the drive with six points soon after. Fans then witnessed his final, well-recognized touchdown celebration.
Jackson thanked fans, but cautioned them as well, saying he’ll continue to play football professionally.
As a direct contrast to an unsure running back room, the Bills reportedly have settled a decision on the starting quarterback. Jay Glazer reported Monday the Bills decided on Tyrod Taylor to start the season.
Taylor utilized both his arm and his legs to make his case for the starting job, scoring a running touchdown in Saturday’s preseason game. Taylor only threw seven incomplete passes in three preseason games.
Eleven Bills players also faced cuts as the team attempted to slim its roster to 75 players ahead of a 4 p.m. league deadline. The Monday morning cuts left 77 players on the roster.
- DE Michael Buchanan
- CB Ross Cockrell
- DT Justin Hamilton
- LB Andrew Hudson
- OT Terren Jones
- CB Ellis Lankster
- S Kenny Ladler
- S Wes Miller
- G DJ Morrell
- DE Cedric Reed
- RB Ricky Seale
- CB Cam Thomas
- WR Austin Willis
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