The Buffalo Bills released Fred Jackson prior to the 2015 season. While he was able to latch on late with the Seattle Seahawks, he was out of football in 2016. He doesn’t want his career to be over.
"Playing-wise, I would love to play again," Jackson told Siouxland News in Sioux City, Iowa while in town for the opening of the Sioux City Bandits season. "You know, I'm going to try and see if I could get on a roster again. I'm going to try and see if I can get on a roster this year, training camps and things like that. If I can get into one I'm going to try to spend the next two, three months trying to get on a roster. And you know, if it doesn't happen I'm going to hang my hat on the ten years that I did play. I was in contact with a few teams last year about coming in, and things just never worked out. We'll see. We'll shake those branches and see if something happens. If it doesn't, like I said, I had ten years that I played and I enjoyed every minute of it."
Jackson rushed for 5746 yards and 30 touchdowns adding 2897 yards and nine touchdowns receiving as the catalyst for the Bills offense during some very lean years on that side of the ball. Four different quarterbacks started a majority of the team’s games during his eight years in Buffalo and the team never ranked higher than 14th in offense. He led the team in rushing for four of those seasons, topping 1000 yards just once.
While the 36-year-old wants to keep playing, if he doesn’t get the call this offseason he wants to retire with the Bills. Despite being released unceremoniously but early enough to get a shot with another team, he understands the business and harbors no ill will toward the team and knows how awesome the fans are.
"It's automatic," said Jackson, expressing interest in signing a one-day deal with his former team when his career was over. "It has to be as a Buffalo Bill. You know, I owe those guys everything. The fan base has by far stuck behind me the most. And still talk to me now. That's not to take anything from anybody. But the Bills Mafia is who has made me who I am today. I love playing for those guys. As long as I can go sign that one day contract and retire as a Buffalo Bill. If they're going to have me, I'd definitely love to do that."
Tyrod Taylor wasn’t Buffalo’s quarterback for very long during Jackson’s tenure with the Bills. Taylor joined the Bills during Jackson’s final offseason with the team and won the starting quarterback job right around the time the running back was released. But Jackson has been keeping tabs on his former team and offered his thoughts on the quarterback situation.
“I know they've got the whole Tyrod thing going on,” said Jackson about the direction of the Bills. “I like Tyrod. I like what he brings to the table. But again that's not my decision to make. I hope the best for all those guys. I think they all did some great things last year. There was just a couple games they came up short in. You know that's the nature of the business. When you fall short you don't get to where you want to be in the end. But I think they have the pieces there. If those guys stay healthy I think they'll be able to contend and get to the playoffs next year."
He called Sean McDermott a “great coach” in the interview, too.