The Buffalo Bills' Marshawn Lynch is now in legal trouble for the second offseason in a row. With his Pro Bowl debut and second straight 1,000-yard season, people have forgotten that backup Fred Jackson is a free agent this offseason.
Profootballtalk.com is reporting that Jackson “is looking for a multi-year deal, and the money that goes along with it.” The Bills should give it to him.
For starters, Jackson is a high-character guy who has paid his dues. He is a player who represents the city of Buffalo well in his humble ways.
He is a guy you don’t have to worry about running over a woman with his SUV.
He has worked his way up the ladder and isn’t going to do anything stupid to diminish his hard work.
Most importantly, the guy can play, and that's what matters most to fans and the Bills front office.
This season, after coming off an eight-game, 300-yard 2007 campaign, Jackson rushed for 571 yards and three touchdowns. Having rushed for 136 yards against the New England Patriots in the last game of the season, Jackson finished '08 averaging 4.6 yards per carry.
Jackson is anything but a one-trick running back. He is a real threat catching the ball out of the backfield, hauling in 37 catches for 317 yards in '08, making his career totals 59 receptions for 507 yards (8.6 yards per catch).
The impact that Jackson had on the special teams did not go unnoticed, either. Returning punts while Roscoe Parrish was injured and fielding kickoffs (averaging 15.1 yards per kickoff return) when opponents elected to avoid kicking to Leodis McKelvin, Jackson more than proved his worth.
With Lynch’s future uncertain, why not retain a high-class, quality player in Jackson?
Hopefully the Bills don’t take the cheap way out of these negotiations. With all of the money tied up in players who don’t deserve it, why not give a pay raise to a guy who does?
Make the easy decision and give Jackson the multi-year deal that will please him and help out the team in the process.