The Cleveland Browns are rumored to have a solution at running back, and it’s coming thanks to a shocker from their Lake Erie brethren, the Buffalo Bills.
On Monday, the Bills released 10-year veteran Fred Jackson, a captain and a team leader. Though he was the oldest running back in the league at 34, Jackson was still a solid contributor and led the team in rushing, with 545 yards last season.
The move came just two days after Jackson flashed what talent he still has, breaking off a 41-yard run on his first carry of the preseason after missing time with a hamstring injury. Jackson punched it in for a one-yard touchdown two plays later.
The Bills announced the move amid 11 other roster cuts on Monday.
“Today, we had to make the difficult decision to release Fred Jackson,” Bills general manager Doug Whaley said in a statement on the team’s official website. “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.”
But there are rumors that the Cleveland Browns could be interested in Fred Jackson. The Browns have been open about their troubles in the backfield, with none of their current candidates stepping into the role. Second year backs Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West have struggled to play well, and promising rookie Duke Johnson has been hampered by injury.
The Browns already noted that they would be open to signing any running back, and the Sporting News notes that Fred Jackson may be the best option.
There could be some competition for his services. Many believed the Dallas Cowboys could be a good landing point for Fred Jackson. The team is still in need of a solid No. 2, despite a three-man rotation of Joseph Randle, Darren McFadden, and Lance Dunbar.
As the Dallas News noted, Jackson would also be at home with the Cowboys.
“Jackson, who was born in Fort Worth and played his high school ball at Arlington Lamar, has had a solid NFL career. He amassed more than 1,000 total yards (rushing and receiving) in his last two seasons in Buffalo and five of the last six.
But Jackson is also 34 years old and missed part of training camp with a hamstring injury. That’s six years older than McFadden, the oldest member of the Cowboys committee.”
But the report noted that the Dallas Cowboys have no interest in Fred Jackson.
If the rumors about the Cleveland Browns picking up Fred Jackson are true, they may want to move fast. There is now less than two weeks until their season opener, and the team still hasn’t had a running back step forward to earn the starting role.
[Image via Brett Carlsen / Getty Images]