It was a happy day for the Bills and running back Fred Jackson, as Monday the team and Jackson announced they have agreed on a two-year extension to his current deal.
The two-year contract is potentially worth $9 million.
”It’s a big day,” Jackson said. ”I’m happy to be here and I’m glad that this is over with and now we can focus on playing football.”
For Jackson, the extension is a reward after he’s led the team in rushing in each of the past three seasons. And it also eases any lingering hard feelings Jackson might have had toward the Bills after expressing concerns last year that he was underpaid under his previous four-year, $7.5 million contract.
”This is a day to put that to rest,” Jackson said. ”We don’t have to worry about that anymore.”
Jackson has one year left under his current deal, and the extension secures him through 2014.
Jackson revealed the length of the new contract. A person familiar with the deal disclosed the monetary terms, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the Bills had not disclosed the value of the extension.
General manager Buddy Nix lived up to the public promise he made in the media and personally to Jackson that an extension would be reached before the start of training camp.
”We’ve always said we want to try to keep our good players, and we’ve done it again today,” Nix said. ”He was a huge piece of the puzzle for us.”
In five seasons, the former undrafted free agent out of Division III Coe College has 3,794 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns in 66 games, including 38 starts in Buffalo. And that includes last year when he was being mentioned as an early-season NFL MVP candidate in helping the Bills get off to a surprising 5-2 start.
That was before Jackson’s season ended in mid-November, when he broke a bone in his right leg in a 35-8 loss at Miami. He still finished with six touchdowns and a team-best 934 yards rushing while averaging 5.5 yards a carry.
Jackson has also proved to be dual threat in the passing game, with 175 catches for 1,535 yards and four touchdowns.