Despite turning 35 recently, Fred Jackson has no plans to walk away from the NFL. On Monday, Jackson told Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network that he wants to play in 2016.
Jackson is set to hit free agency in March and some Buffalo Bills fans want to see a reunion between the back and Bills. Simply put, it's not going to happen.
Jackson's better days are behind him. At this point in his career, he's a situational back that you insert into your lineup on passing downs. He still has the ability to block in the backfield and can contribute as a receiver out of the backfield. He doesn't, however, bring much to the table at this point in terms of carrying the ball.
Yes, that sounds harsh but it's the truth. Look no further than Jackson's 2015 season with the Seattle Seahawks. Jackson was on a team that dealt with injuries at the running back position throughout the season, but he was seldom used as a rusher. Over the course of 16 games, Jackson had 26 carries, good for 1.6 carries per game. Jackson's 26 carries resulted in 100 yards, a 3.8 YPC average. He had one game this season where he went over 20 yards rushing. Jackson can't be depended upon to carry the load or even a small portion of the load anymore.
Jackson has value as a receiver, but he just doesn't fit into Buffalo's plans. The back would be, at best, Buffalo's fourth string running back. LeSean McCoy, Karlos Williams, and Mike Gillislee would certainly be ahead of Jackson and it's possible that a player like James Wilder Jr. brings more to the table as a running back in 2016.
Jackson will always be a fan favorite in Buffalo, and that's okay. In fact, some day, when Jackson is ready to hang it up and retire, it's very possible that he signs a one-day contract with the Bills and eventually becomes an ambassador for the team. However, his playing days with the Bills are over.
Buffalo has moved on from Jackson and has too much talent at the position to give him a look in 2016.null