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#pounditMonday, April 15, 2024

Bills GM Doug Whaley ‘went rogue’ in cutting Fred Jackson

Fred Jackson

The Buffalo Bills on Monday surprised many by cutting running back Fred Jackson in a move that may not have been agreed to by the entire organization.

The Buffalo News’ Tim Graham reported on Twitter Tuesday that GM Doug Whaley “went rogue” in cutting the 34-year-old fan favorite.

Comments from Jackson seem to support that notion.

Graham hinted that ownership did not sign off on the move.

Comments from Whaley to the media suggest ownership did approve.

“We also let everybody know that everybody was on board. Reluctantly because of the magnitude of this player and what he means, not only to the Buffalo Bills, but to the community of Buffalo — him and his family. So we talked to [owners] Terry [Pegula] and Kim [Pegula] and conversed with them and decided that this was the best time to make that decision.”

If ownership did approve the move as Whaley indicates, then it’s possible the move might not have been done without the consent of head coach Rex Ryan or team president Russ Brandon.

Jackson was originally an NFL Europe player who was promoted from the practice squad. The Coe College product was a classic underdog story, and no matter how bad things got in Buffalo, he always produced. Jackson rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2009, and he posted over 1,000 combined yards five times including last year.

Here was the statement given by Whaley on Monday regarding Jackson’s release:

“Today, we had to make the difficult decision to release Fred Jackson. He had an incredible career for this organization for the past 10 years. We thank Fred for his hard work, dedication and leadership during his tenure with the Buffalo Bills. Fred has inspired the city of Buffalo in a number of ways. Fred and his family have been dedicated to this community and we can’t thank them enough for their contributions through his career.”

Just to show how peeved fans are by Jackson’s release, the “WeloveFred.com” website has had over 21,000 supporters. The site encourages fans to share their disapproval of the move with management.

Jackson even noted on Twitter that the “fan support has been overwhelming.”

Bills fans have long been lauded for their passion, so their reaction is no surprise.

This report from Graham really should not shock you. Recall that former Bills head coach Doug Marrone got into it with Whaley over a big transaction last year. Surely this isn’t the way the Bills wanted Jackson’s release to be handled.

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