It’s time for Fred Jackson to retire as a Buffalo Bill.

Fred Jackson

Fred Jackson

Jackson’s career in the NFL appears to be over as he sat out the entire 2016 season waiting for a call from an interested team. Since it’s very doubtful that any team would sign the 36 year old running back for the 2017 season the Bills should do what they did for Thurman Thomas and sign Jackson for one day so he can officially retire for the team he played all but one season for in the NFL.

To say Fred Jackson was unhappy when he was released by the Bills on August 31st, 2015 is an understatement. Jackson claimed he had been assured by GM Doug Whaley that he would be a part of the 2015 team even with the addition of featured running back LeSean McCoy.

Jackson did sign for one year with the Seattle Seahawks, but had just 26 carries for 100 yards and we was not resigned for the 2016 season.

Fred Jackson’s story has been told many times. Graduating from Division III Coe College in 2003, Jackson tried out for several NFL teams, but went unsigned. Fred then played indoor arena football for a few years and a year for the NFL’s Europe Rhein Fire team in Germany. Jackson was then given a tryout and signed by then Bills GM and former coach Marv Levy. Levy is also a graduate of Coe College.

Fred Jackson’s final numbers with the Buffalo Bills are 5,646 yards on 1,205 carries for a 4.6 yards per carry average. Jackson also caught 322 passes for 2,640 yards and scored 39 touchdowns over his nine seasons as a Bill.

However, Fred Jackson’s impact with the Bills went far beyond statistics. Jackson emerged as a leader on and off the field, schooling younger backs like Marshawn Lynch and CJ Spiller. Jackson also became a spokesperson for the team and numerous charities.

I had the pleasure of serving as Fred’s co-host on the Fred Jackson television show for three season’s. Getting to know Fred and his family off the field was a joy.

During the Super Bowl years I was a part of the Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Cornelius Bennett shows. All were great experiences, but I have to say working with Fred Jackson was the easiest. Fred went with the flow regardless of the situation and answered every and any question. Fred Jackson is a true gentlemen.

Fred Jackson and his family moved away from the area after the 2015 season but he did return for the opening of the SEAR Steakhouse on Delaware Avenue this past November. Jackson, Brian Moorman, Terrence McGee and their former agent and ADPRO owner Ron Raccuia have all invested in he new restaurant.

I’m sure Doug Whaley is not on the Jackson family Christmas card list, but it’s time for the Pegula’s to reach out and officially sign Fred Jackson so he can retire as a Buffalo Bill. I’m guessing that move will eventually lead to Jackson’s  number 22 going up on the team’s Wall of Fame where it belongs.


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