Buffalo Bills Re-Sign Fred Jackson: Why the Deal is Well-Deserved

Josh Cembellin@@JoshCembellinCorrespondent IMay 7, 2012

For Bills running back Fred Jackson, stiff-arming obstacles is nothing new.
For Bills running back Fred Jackson, stiff-arming obstacles is nothing new.Rick Stewart/Getty Images

NFL Network Insider Jason La Canfora reports that “the Buffalo Bill[s] will announce a multi-year contract extension for running back Fred Jackson, according to a team source.”

Per La Canfora, the deal is expected to be announced at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Jackson’s extension is great news for the Bills’ offense, which felt the veteran’s absence last season after he went down with a leg injury.

In just 10 games last year, Jackson recorded 934 rushing yards on 170 carries—good for a 5.5 yards-per-carry average—and six touchdowns. He also added 39 receptions for 442 yards. Combined, Jackson was responsible for 1,376 yards offensive yards in just 10 games in 2011.

But the news is even better news for Jackson, who certainly deserves it.

Jackson is 31 years old, but he doesn’t have the wear and tear that most 31-year-old NFL running backs have. Regardless, he's had a difficult journey to get to this point.

After clawing his way from Coe College, the National Indoor Football League and NFL Europa, Jackson finally got an opportunity with the Buffalo Bills.

And he never looked back.

Since arriving in Buffalo, Jackson has done nothing but exceed expectations.

With the ball in his hands, he is a workhorse. He fights for yardage, hits holes with a purpose and makes players miss with elusive fluidity.

Without the ball in his hands, he's one of the best blocking running backs in the game. Jackson's value in picking up the blitz is not something that fills the stat sheet, but it's a pivotal part of his contributions.

And perhaps most importantly, he is the epitome of a team leader, and he demonstrates the character skills and attitude that other players thrive off of.

Jackson understands the importance of hard work, which he has demonstrated throughout his decorated career.

But Jackson hasn’t only defeated the odds by getting to the NFL. Since finally earning a shot with the Bills, he’s persevered and overcome the pressures of competing with not just one, but two first-round running back draft choices.

In 2007, the Bills drafted Marshawn Lynch 12th overall. Then in 2010, the Bills selected C.J. Spiller ninth overall.

The underdog in both situations, Jackson has kept a clear perspective and an admirable work ethic. His performance gave the Bills no choice but to ride him and feed him the ball, and now they will finally feed him the money.

Fred Jackson’s contract extension is one of the most well-deserved deals in football right now. And if he can come back healthy in 2012 and pick up where he left off last year, then Jackson and the Bills could be in for some great things very soon.

Congratulations on the extension, FredEx. You deserve it.

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