After getting cut by the Buffalo Bills, Fred Jackson was courted by the two Super Bowl teams from last season, the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. Job security and the urgency to sign him helped make up his mind.
The Seahawks wanted him more, and told him that, not to mention being more clear about the role they intended for him. Add that to the fact that the Patriots tend to cut players without thinking twice about it (although it’s hard to argue with anything they do besides the illegal stuff considering how successful they’ve been), and Jackson felt a stronger pull to sign with the Seahawks.
What Seattle said was, ‘We want you to be a part of this team. We want you to contribute. We know what you can do, and we’re excited about it.’ They wanted to put me on a flight that night. New England wanted to wait a couple days. I wanted to go where I was wanted the most, and that was Seattle.
What played in the back of my mind is how much New England turns over its roster. That has worked well for them, and you can’t blame them. But, at the same time, you want to be comfortable where you are. Seattle told me they wanted me to come in and be the No. 2. At this stage of my career, that’s what you want to hear. So I go to a better team, get promoted and have a chance to win a Super Bowl.
Someone who played a part in Jackson choosing the Seattle Seahawks is starting running back Marshawn Lynch. He played with Jackson in Buffalo from 2007-2010, and the two have remained close according to Jackson, helping him choose Seattle as his next, and maybe final (sorry for the pun), NFL destination.
Marshawn was a huge factor. We talk to each other three times a week. The chance to come out there was something we both wanted. We talked about it back in March when everything went down. We made it happen.
Jackson went undrafted in 2003 after playing for Coe in college. He was finally picked up by the Bills in 2006, playing in Buffalo for nine seasons, putting up 5646 yards and scoring 30 rushing touchdowns. He led the NFL in all-purpose yards in 2009 and is the first player in NFL history to compile 1,000 rushing and 1,000 kickoff return yards in a season. He signed a one-year deal with the Seahawks.