Bills Notebook: Jackson thinking long-term

Buffalo's change-of-pace back is up for a tender, Greer's status up in air, Kemp has canceer and more news 'n notes inside...

--RB Fred Jackson, an exclusive rights free agent, will receive a nice tender offer from the Bills, but he's hoping for a long-term contract. "I want to finish my career in Buffalo," he told buffalobills.com. The Bills figure to oblige. Jackson, one of the league's feel-good stories as a Division III product, rushed for 571 yards and caught 37 passes last season as the perfect off-speed complement to Marshawn Lynch.

Jackson busted out at the end of the season in games against Denver and New England, as one of the rare players on the team to finish with a bang.

--The Bills were 2-0 in games decided by seven points or fewer in the month of September. From mid-November on, however, their record in such tight games dropped to 1-3. One of the coaching staff's main jobs next season is nurturing the confidence it takes to win close games, but that can be fleeting. "It seems like we got the raw end of so many deals," C Duke Preston said. "The only thing we can do is stay committed to our game because weird things are going to happen. The bottom line is that we needed to win. We (were) 7-9, and we left at least four games out there."

--CB Jabari Greer, Buffalo's top unrestricted free agent, is talking as if he won't be back. The fifth-year pro would like to re-sign but also knows that starting last year's first-round pick, Leodis McKelvin, is the more economical move for the Bills.

"I think they know where my heart is and that whatever happens and whatever business negotiations go on, that I'll always be thankful for the opportunity I got here," said Greer, who made the Bills roster as an undrafted free agent in 2004 and moved into the starting lineup two years later.

--2009 is the Bills' 50th-anniversary season, a nice break for the team's marketing department. Buffalo hasn't made the playoffs in nine consecutive seasons, and selling positive news to the fan base won't be easy. But a full slate of 50th-anniversary events are planned, including the release of a 50th-anniversary team.

--Bills great Jack Kemp, a former U.S. congressman from New York and Housing Secretary, is battling an undetermined form of cancer. Doctors are still diagnosing his condition to determine a plan of action. Kemp, 73, led Buffalo to AFL championships in 1964 and '65.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's tough to point to one thing. There are a whole slew of things that we can say contributed to our late-season slide. Making mistakes, bad calls, injuries. Injuries are a big part of it. But we have to be better, and there is no one else to blame but ourselves." -- OL Langston Walker.

Courtesy of The Sports Xchange


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