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Bills Voice: Fredex’d? Reaction to Jackson’s comments about his roster spot.

Welcome to Bills Voice a new blog on featuring input and analysis of all things Buffalo Bills. Don’t miss at the end of each post where we will put a Fantasy Football spin on everything covered.

written by Peter Soscia

Photo courtesy of (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

There was quite a bit of reaction from both fans and media members last week when Bills running back Fred Jackson commented on his roster status for this season during a radio interview with The Howard Simon Show. When asked if he was worried about his roster spot Jackson responded with: “We’ve got to compete every year. This year’s no different than any other year, I’ve got to go out and compete just like any other year.” A lot of the reaction on social media may have led you to believe that Jackson is worried about his future in Buffalo, but that was a pretty vanilla response that Jackson has probably given every offseason since he entered the league as an undrafted free agent when he actually was competing to make rosters.

While it seems that Jackson’s roster spot is safe for 2015, at least one of the five running backs currently on the Bills roster will not be by the start of the season, and at 34, it would not be shocking if Jackson was the odd man out.

The Bills currently have LeSean McCoy, Boobie Dixon, Karlos Williams, Bryce Brown, and Jackson in their RB stable. It’s not unheard of for a roster to carry five RBs, but that won’t be the case with the Bills adding fullback Jerome Felton this offseason. McCoy is a lock for the roster as the feature back, Dixon and his bruising running style bring a different look compared to McCoy and his special teams play make him likely safe on the roster. That leaves Jackson, Williams, and Brown. It’s pretty easy to say Jackson is most talented back on the team behind McCoy, and it seems unlikely for the Bills to spend a 5th round draft pick on Williams only to have him cut in training camp. This leaves Brown on the outs. 

This is the most likely scenario, and it would be the best case for the Bills as well. Jackson had over 1,000 total yards last season, is a great pass blocker, and not to mention a great leader. With all of the new additions over the last year from ownership, coaching staff, to players, it is important for the team to have a locker room presence that has been through it all with the team and the city like Jackson has. 

Despite best case scenarios, Jackson will stop defying Father Time eventually. If that happens this season, and Bryce Brown finally pulls it together and displays some of this potential that made him the number college recruit out of high school, it may be mean the end to career in Buffalo that was almost unimaginable eight years ago when Jackson joined the Bills.

Fantasy Spin: In the past you either love or you hate Fred Jackson depending on whether you owned him or CJ Spiller/Marshawn Lynch. No matter how good the other back was projected to be at the start of season in the end Jackson was the Bills RB you wanted to own (Expect in 2012 when Jackson was actually projected as the starter, but got hurt and CJ Spiller had his best season.) With that in mind I still like LeSean McCoy a lot this season, and Jackson could hold some value if the Bills end up running the ball as much as we think they will. I wouldn’t want Jackson starting in my week 1 lineup, but I’d draft him as a low end flex/ RB 4 with upside if he can stay healthy.

  • F-Jax ’14 DVOA -4.4%
    Bryce Brown DVOA -25.3%

    No brainer. I’ve always liked Brown, but his ’14 counting stats of 36-126-0 (& 1 back-breaking fumble) should make him fearful of this year’s training camp. Freddie also had a bunch more touches (110 to 36). (Boobie’s DVOA was -4.2%. on 100 carries, btw.)