ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills safety Aaron Williams made an apparent plea Thursday for his team to re-sign his close friend, veteran running back Fred Jackson, asking fans on Twitter if it was "ridiculous" that the former team captain and fan favorite hasn't been brought back.
Jackson, 35, remains a free agent after spending last season with the Seattle Seahawks. The Bills, who gave the Division III prospect Jackson his unlikely start in 2006, surprisingly released him last September during final cuts in part to help clear salary-cap room.
Jackson played in all 16 games last season for Seattle, rushing 26 times for 100 yards. He was used more often as a receiver out of the backfield, catching 32 passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns.
The Bills have dealt with several issues in their backfield this offseason, including a legal investigation into LeSean McCoy's alleged involvement in a Philadelphia nightclub fight that did not result in charges or NFL discipline, the arrest of fifth-round rookie Jonathan Williams for suspicion of DWI, as well as a four-game NFL-imposed suspension against Karlos Williams for a violation of the league's substance-abuse policy.
Despite the incidents, the Bills should have McCoy ready for the start of the regular season, while a possible NFL suspension imposed against Jonathan Williams wouldn't likely happen until later in the season or in 2017. With promising young back Mike Gillislee also in the fold, the Bills might not have a need to bring in a veteran like Jackson, although NFL Network reported this week that the team is "targeting" free agent Reggie Bush.
Jackson, the franchise's third-leading all-time rusher, was beloved by fans during his nine seasons (2006-14) with the team. He still lives in the Buffalo area, and on Thursday, his wife, Danielle, expressed support for Aaron Williams' plea on Twitter:
Do I get a vote!? 😉 https://t.co/FponMX10yl— Danielle Jackson (@dani22jack) July 21, 2016