BEREA – Browns running back James Jackson isn’t a happy man, and he’s letting it be known publicly.
Jackson spoke out for the first time since trade rumors surfaced regarding four teams – Miami, Minnesota, Arizona and Philadelphia. He said he’s never been treated fairly by the Browns, adding that he wants out.
“It wouldn’t be healthy for me to be here,” Jackson said. “I don’t need a drummer for them, and they don’t need a drummer fror me. It’s real simple.”
The Browns have reportedly told interested teams that they want as high as a third-round draft choice for Jackson, who was selected in the third round of the 2001 draft. Jackson’s lack of playing time might make it difficult for the Browns to get that high of a pick.
Jackson, who was recruited to play at the University of Miami by coach Butch Davis, appeared in 11 games in 2001, including 10 as a starter. He rushed for 554 yards on 195 carries. He was phased out of the offense in 2002 when William Green was selected in the first round of the draft. Jackson’s carries dropped to 12 that year for 54 yards.
When Green was suspended after the eighth game of the 2003 season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, Jackson received six starts before his season ended when he suffered a right knee injury in week 13.
As Green and Lee Suggs have gone back and forth in competing for the starting job this year, Jackson has worked with the second-team offense. He’s rushed for 78 yards on 15 carries in three preseason games.
“They don’t want to play me here. I don’t want to be here,” Jackson said. “I know I haven’t been treated fairly here.”
“James is a competitor,” Davis said. “He’d like a bigger piece of the pie. Given the depth of running back in this training camp, every guy when he’s been given a chance to play has played well. I’m sure it’s frustrating.”