ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 09:Fred Jackson #22 of the Buffalo Bills walks of the field with his son at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 9, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo woin 31-24. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
The Buffalo Bills on Monday afternoon announced that running back Fred Jackson has agreed to a two-year extension with the club, keeping him under contract through the end of the 2014 season. Mark Gaughan of The Buffalo News reports that Jackson will average about $4.5 million annually in the two new years of the deal, with another $1.7 million available in incentives.
Bills GM Buddy Nix has made it clear since the end of the 2011 regular season that getting a long-term deal in place for the star running back would be the team's top priority following the 2012 NFL Draft. It apparently only took the two sides a little more than a week to agree to that deal, with the draft ending on April 30.
Jackson, 31, established himself as the centerpiece of head coach Chan Gailey's offensive attack in an MVP-worthy 10-game stretch to start the 2011 season. Before he landed on IR with a broken fibula, Jackson averaged 21 touches and 138 yards per game, and scored a career-high six rushing touchdowns. He'll enter 2012 as the top offensive threat in an offense that, ideally, will do a bit more running if expensive additions to the defense pay off.
Buffalo signed Jackson in 2006, where he spent a year in Europe before latching onto the roster in 2007. The former Division III standout at Coe College has been reliable and consistent throughout his career, and now has 3,794 rushing yards, 1,535 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns to show for it.