2:45pm: Coach Pete Carroll stressed that Jackson’s trip to Seattle was a “visit not a signing,” (via the Seahawks on Twitter). He also told reporters, including Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times (on Twitter) that there has been no decision yet on signing Jackson. However, Condotta notes (link) that Robert Turbin has a high ankle sprain, and that could explain Seattle’s interest in FJax.
7:58am: Having hit the open market yesterday, it didn’t take Fred Jackson long to find an interested suitor. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), the veteran running back is flying to Seattle this morning to meet with the Seahawks, and both sides expect to work out a deal.
Jackson, who debuted with the Bills in 2007 and had been with the team since then, was released by Buffalo yesterday. Despite being the league’s oldest running back, at age 34, Jackson doesn’t have a ton of mileage on his legs, since he started his career late and split carries with other backs throughout his tenure with the Bills.
Over the course of his eight-year career, Jackson has compiled 5,646 rushing yards and 80 rushing touchdowns on 1,279 carries. He’s also a capable receiver out of the backfield, setting a career high in 2014 with 66 catches. While Jackson was slowed by a hamstring injury earlier in the training camp this year, he looked good in his preseason debut this past weekend, carrying the ball five times for 48 yards.
According to Rapoport (via Twitter), Jackson received interest from numerous playoff teams upon his release. Assuming he finalizes a contract agreement with Seattle though, Jackson will reunite with his old backfield mate Marshawn Lynch, who played in Buffalo himself from 2007 to 2010.
Presumably, Jackson would become Lynch’s primary backup and see action on third downs, if and when he officially signs with Seattle. That would bump Robert Turbin down on the depth chart, and would create some uncertainty regarding the roles for Christine Michael and UDFA rookie Thomas Rawls. Seattle showed it was willing to move a young player for a future draft pick yesterday when the team sent wide receiver Kevin Norwood to the Panthers, so perhaps a running back trade could be explored as well.