The Buffalo Bills have been one of the busiest teams this NFL offseason, but they are rumored to be making one move that likely won’t sit well with fans – cutting longtime running back and fan favorite Fred Jackson.
With the move last week to trade for Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, the Bills signaled that they intend to be aggressive in improving last year’s woeful offense. With McCoy, an instant upgrade at running back, it meant that pending free agent C.J. Spiller is gone and not it appears Jackson is getting the axe as well.
Reports from New York say that Jets running back Bilal Powell is leaning toward the Bills in free agency. Powell would come at a lower price than Jackson, who at 34 is the oldest running back in the league. Powell also played under new Bills head coach Rex Ryan.
If the Buffalo Bills do cut Fred Jackson, it will be a difficult one for fans to swallow. Just days after trading beloved linebacker Kiko Alonso, the Bills would be cutting the man just named to the “Buffalo’s most beloved sports figures” list less than two weeks ago.
Though the reports that the Buffalo Bills will be cutting Fred Jackson are still just rumors, there are already some potential landing points.
Per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.
“With Buffalo very interested in running back Bilal Powell even after trading for LeSean McCoy, several contending teams are doing their homework on Fred Jackson, should he be released. Jackson is one of the all-time popular Bills players, but I wouldn’t rule out an exit. Several teams were looking at film on him over the weekend waiting to see where this situation goes.”
Neal Coolong of the SB Nation Blog Behind The Steel Curtain thinks that Pittsburgh would be a great fit for Fred Jackson.
“The Steelers’ lust for a veteran running back is well-documented,” he wrote. “The question really is whether Jackson is able to both accept a back-up role and physically hold up over the course of a one or even two-year deal.”
Jackson has been with the Bills since 2007, and before that split time between arena football and NFL Europe. He had a good connection to come to the Bills — Jackson was a graduate of small Division III Coe College, which just happens to be the alma mater of Bills coaching legend and then-general manager Marv Levy.
If the rumors are true and the Buffalo Bills do cut Fred Jackson, it would make for a difficult week for the Bills legend. He just celebrated his 34th birthday on Sunday.
[Image via USA Today]