General manager Doug Whaley offered the following statement, via Buffalo Bills PR's Twitter account:
Whaley later commented further on the move, saying it was a "very emotional conversation," via Joe Buscaglia of WKBW.
The move took many by surprise, including Tyler Dunne of the Buffalo News:
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com offered a bit more context on the decision:
Jackson, 34, has spent the entirety of his NFL career in Buffalo, rushing for a total of 5,646 yards and 30 touchdowns while also catching 322 passes for 2,640 yards and another seven scores. While durability has been an issue later in his career—he has appeared in all 16 regular-season games just once since 2011—Jackson has remained a contributor and was a significant asset for the team in the passing game last season with 66 receptions.
Mike Rodak of ESPN noted Jackson's place in franchise history at the running back position:
With Jackson having such a legacy in Buffalo, the running back was reportedly eager to stay with the Bills, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported Jackson would have "done anything" to stay on the team.
Jackson's former teammate, Aaron Williams, called him "the Governor of Buffalo," according to ESPN's Rodak.
The Bills are loaded at running back, however, with LeSean McCoy firmly entrenched as the starter and Anthony Dixon, Karlos Williams and Bryce Brown also jockeying for position. With plenty of young talent at their disposal, the Bills decided that the veteran Jackson was expendable.
Jackson shouldn't be without a team for long, as the veteran can still help a contending organization. For teams looking to bolster the running back position—such as the Houston Texans, with Arian Foster sidelined—he could step in and make an instant impact.