In thanking fans for their support over his nine-year career, former Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson also took a parting shot at general manager Doug Whaley in an interview with The Buffalo News.
“There’s only one person in that organization that I haven’t gotten honesty from, and that was [Whaley],” Jackson told the newspaper.
Whaley did not provide an explanation for Jackson’s surprising release when pressed by reporters Monday on the topic.
Fred Jackson told The Buffalo News that his release “was a tough pill to swallow, especially because I felt like I can still contribute.” AP/Bill Wippert
“We thought for us and at this time, we had to make this decision,” he said. “There are a lot of circumstances that go into that, but we will keep that in-house for competitive reasons.
“We also let everybody know that everybody was on board. Reluctantly because of the magnitude of this player and what he means, not only to the Buffalo Bills, but to the community of Buffalo — him and his family. So we talked to [owners] Terry [Pegula] and Kim [Pegula] and conversed with them and decided that this was the best time to make that decision.”
Jackson was a Bills captain, a fan favorite in Buffalo, and the franchise’s third-leading rusher behind Thurman Thomas and O.J. Simpson.
Although he entered training camp as the NFL’s oldest running back at 34, Jackson maintained he could play in the NFL for several more seasons.
“It was a tough pill to swallow, especially because I felt like I can still contribute,” Jackson told the News.
“They gave me a shot. I’ll always be happy about that, but … they closed the door on me playing there, too.”