It was a 10-year run with the Bills and run is just what Fred Jackson did along with a host of other duties. Whether it was returning punts or kicks, catching out of the backfield, pass protecting on third down, Jackson did it all. But Jackson's time with the Bills came to a close Monday as the veteran running back was among the first round of cuts made by the club to reduce the roster to the required 75 by 4 pm.
"Today, we had to make the difficult decision to release Fred Jackson," said Bills GM Doug Whaley in a statement. "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."
Jackson, 34, who was first an NFL Europe allocation player for the Bills and then a practice squad player before becoming a member of Buffalo's 53-man roster permanently in 2007, posted more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage five times in his 10-year stint with Buffalo. Last season he led the team in rushing with 525 yards and in receptions with 66 catches for 501 yards and a touchdown.
His best single season came in 2009 when he led the league in all-purpose yards with a career-high 1,062 yards rushing, 371 yards receiving, 1,014 kick return yards and 69 punt return yards for a total of 2,516. He became the first player in league history that season to rush for 1,000 yards and have 1,000 kick return yards in the same year. His 2,516 yards was the fourth-highest total in NFL history at the time.
The Coe College product ranks third in NFL history in career rushing yards by an undrafted player with 5,646 trailing only Houston's Arian Foster (6,309) and former NFL back Priest Holmes (8,172). Jackson stands third on the Bills' all-time rushing list behind Hall of Famers Thurman Thomas and O.J. Simpson. He's also third in career 100-yard rushing game with 15 and fourth in franchise annals in rushing touchdowns with 30.
A pillar of the Western New York community in his time with the club, Jackson supported a multitude of charitable efforts and also created and developed his own D-III Nation initiative, designed to shine a spotlight on Division III college athletes and their achievements.
Buffalo also released 11 other players, which put the roster at 77. They're listed below. The Bills also announced that CB Cam Thomas has been placed on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list. They also designated WR Austin Willis waived/injured to get to the required 75-player limit. The league deadline to be at 75 players is 4 pm Tuesday.
DE Michael Buchanan
CB Ross Cockrell
DT Justin Hamilton
LB Andrew Hudson
OT Terren Jones
CB Ellis Lankster
S Kenny Ladler
S Wes Miller
G DJ Morrell
DE Cedric Reed
RB Ricky Seale