Buffalo Bills General Manager Doug Whaley

Monday, August 31, 2015

Opening Statement

We all know the NFL is great business and a great sport, but there are some detriments to this business. A day like today, cut down day, is always rough for everybody involved. A decision like this doesn’t come lightly. A decision like this is something we put a lot of thought into. It makes it tough, not only with everybody that you cut because they are being rejected, but it also makes it tough when you are talking about a guy like Fred Jackson. He has been the heart and soul of the Buffalo Bills for a long time. He is a tremendous person not only on the field, but what him and his family have done in the community, we tip our hat to that. And again this is not a decision we came to lightly, but we made this decision and it is a tough decision and we will go from there. I’ll open it up for questions.

Q: How did you arrive at that decision?

A: We thought for us and at this time, we had to make this decision. There are a lot of circumstances that go into that, but we will keep that in-house for competitive reasons. We also let everybody know that everybody was on board. Reluctantly because of the magnitude of this player and what he means, not only to the Buffalo Bills, but to the community of Buffalo–him and his family. So we talked to Terry [Pegula] and Kim [Pegula] and conversed with them and decided that this was the best time to make that decision.

Q: There was speculation that Fred Jackson might be released in the winter time but the Pegulas stepped in?

A: I can’t comment on the speculation because I am not sure about that. But when anybody, the 90 that we brought to camp, they all had a legitimate chance to make the team.

Q: What did you see in him then?

A: We are not going to get into that, but again this is a tough decision. He is a player that has brought a lot to this team throughout the years and, again, to the community. But the particulars we will keep that in-house.

Q: Is there any part of releasing him now to give him a chance to latch on to another team?

A: That was part of the decision. To give him the respect to be able to shop his wares to other teams and be able to get in before that final cut and maybe assimilate to what they want him to do and ask him to do. So yes.

Q: Did you guys make any calls about trying to trade him?

A: We won’t get into that.

Q: When you actually spoke with him I am sure that was a difficult thing to do?

A: It was difficult for everybody involved. Again, you hate cutting somebody and telling them we don’t want you to be part of our organization. But a guy with that stature it was a very emotional conversation for him, myself, and Rex Ryan. But again I cannot reiterate we have the utmost respect for him and everything he has done for this organization.

Q: Was the salary cap an issue?

A: These decisions everything it comes into play. I always say information makes the decision. So we combined all the information and thought it is a hard decision but a decision we had to make.

Q: Status of LeSean McCoy, Dixon, Karlos Williams, Bryce Brown?

A: This one is just all about Fred. He deserves this and we will do the do respect of this being all about Fred and the unfortunate decision that he won’t be with us anymore.

Q: Does that say you are a little more confident of those guys playing Week 1?

A: Again we will talk about Fred and then we will address all that other at another time.

Q: Other reports say that Tyrod Taylor is named the starter?

Scott Berchtold: We are talking about Fred.

A: Coach will handle that. This is about the 53 and Fred Jackson.

Q: How much do you think Fred has left in the tank?

A: Well if he gets another shot we will see. As everybody says you can’t count Fred out. He has been counted out all his life. That is one of the things that makes this decision that tough–that much more tough than any other one.

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