SEATTLE — Rumors swirled for the last week about Fred Jackson signing with the Seahawks, but now it’s finally official.
Jackson practiced with Seattle for the first time on Monday, wearing the number 22 for the Seahawks just like he did for nine seasons in Buffalo.
"It was definitely different coming out here and putting on a Seahawks helmet and a Seahawks jersey," said Jackson. "It’s a move that I’m excited about and looking forward to; getting out there, hitting the field, and getting this thing started the right way."
Before Jackson was released by the Bills at the end of August, he was the featured back for most of his career in Buffalo. He’s third on the team’s all-time rushing list, behind only Hall of Famers Thurman Thomas and O.J. Simpson.
At 34-years-old, Jackson will serve a supporting role for the Seahawks.
"It’s good to get him here," said Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. "He’s a tough competitor and he fits right in. I think he’s going to give us some real secure play in the backfield, and he’ll do some things that we need some help on."
Jackson is now reunited with his former teammate and close friend Marshawn Lynch. The two spent parts of four seasons together with the Bills.
"Even in my time with Buffalo, we spoke on the phone three or four times a week," said Jackson. "Now I’m here with him. He’s someone I’ll get the lay of the land from and stuff like that.
"He’ll be at my house playing with my kids, and I’ll treat him just like he’s one of them. He’s definitely going to be that guy I put my arm around and treat just like a little brother."
Lynch is a big reason Jackson is in Seattle, but the other is winning. Jackson has never played in a postseason game, and he knows the Seahawks give him a chance.
"Richard Sherman joked with me, he was like, ‘You haven’t played in the playoffs?’" Jackson said. "I said, ‘We all haven’t been that fortunate.’
"That’s the number one reason I’m here in Seattle. They know how to do it. They’ve been to two straight Super Bowls, and it’s something I want to be a part of."
Jackson just joined the Seahawks, but Pete Carroll isn’t holding him back. Carroll expects to use Jackson "a lot" when the Seahawks kickoff the regular season Sunday against the Rams.