After agreeing to sign free agent RB Fred Jackson, the Seahawks Friday waived veteran RB Robert Turbin, who was booked to be Marshawn Lynch’s back-up for a third year until he sprained an ankle in the third presseason game in San Diego.
Turbin had offseason surgery on both hips, but seemed to be running well in preseason until the ankle injury. He will be a free agent at the end of the season, but can be claimed by any NFL team for 24 hours. If he goes unclaimed, he could come back to Seattle on injured reserve. That may be what the Seahawks are gambling on.
The Seahawks could also reach an injury settlement with Turbin. And he could be re-signed after the season.
The Seahawks did not announce the signing of Jackson on Friday, likely because others moves are pending as the team cuts the roster to the maximum 53 players by 1 p.m. Saturday.
Jackson, who broke into the NFL with Lynch in 2007, has rushed for 5,646 yards and 30 touchdowns. He was the Bills’ third-leading career rusher behind Thurman Thomas and O.J. Simpson.
Asked about Jackson, who visited Seattle headquarters Tuesday, coach Pete Carroll said, “He’s always been a good runner. He’s got great feel and sense. Had a 40-yard run in the game last week and scored a touchdown. He’s been a very adept pass-receiver, and I think that’s something that maybe he could fit in.”
After the Seahawks game Thursday, Carroll said, “We had a good visit with him. I really, really like the kid. We all did.”
The Bills made Lynch their first-round pick out of the University of California in 2007, the same year Jackson joined the team after playing in NFL Europe. After the Seahawks acquired Lynch in a trade early in the 2010 season, Jackson became Buffalo’s primary back.
Third-year RB Christine Michael rushed for 39 yards on eight carries (4.9 per rush) with a long gain of 15 in Seattle’s 31-21 victory over the Oakland Raiders Thursday night.
Undrafted rookie free agent Thomas Rawls showed well in training camp and finished as Seattle’s leading rusher in the preseason with 158 yards, third-most in the NFL. That will also factor into the team’s decisions.
Jackson is a solid receiver and blocker. Although he averaged a career-low 3.7 yards per carry last season, he caught 66 passes for 501 yards, both career highs. He had his best yardage year in 2009 with 1,062, and his best TD season in 2013 with 10.
The Bills cut Jackson because they wanted to open up cap space.