Bills' Dane Jackson 'playing the waiting game' as free agency looms

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Following another heartbreaking finish in the playoffs, Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane will have several difficult decisions to make over the next couple of weeks with 22 players set to become unrestricted free agents next month.

An added layer of difficulty will be the Bills’ cap space situation.

Dane Jackson of the Buffalo Bills, left, celebrates his touchdown with Damar Hamlin during a preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts on Aug. 12, 2023, in Orchard Park, New York. (Timothy T. Ludwig/Getty Images)

“Obviously, I’m going to have to be creative with the cap, and I don’t think I need to say it, but I don’t think you’re going to see any splashes,” Beane said during his end-of-season news conference last week.

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“Even if I found something that was exciting to me, I don’t think it would fit within our parameters.”

The Bills are projected as needing to clear more than $40 million in payroll before the NFL’s signing period opens in March.

“We’ll work around it,” he said. “We’re not planning to take a year off and just not be competitive.”

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Of those 22 players, fourth-year cornerback Dane Jackson is one.

Dane Jackson breaks up a pass intended for Tyreek Hill

Dane Jackson of the Buffalo Bills, right, breaks up a pass intended for Tyreek Hill of the Miami Dolphins during the third quarter at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, on Oct. 1, 2023. (Timothy T. Ludwig/Getty Images)

“I’m pretty much playing the waiting game. Just working while I wait, continue to keep my head down. I really don’t know too much right now,” Jackson told Fox News Digital in an interview on behalf of Bounty.

Jackson, a three-year starter at the University of Pittsburgh, was drafted by the Bills in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He re-signed with the team in March 2023.

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Despite uncertainty about the future, Jackson is still looking ahead to next season with “a lot of faith in our team.”

“A lot goes into a season. Just the time away from your family and the time and the work you put in, that’s a big letdown in itself,” he said of the Bills’ divisional round loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Dane Jackson warms up against the Bills

Buffalo Bills’ Dane Jackson is one of the team’s 22 players who are set to become unrestricted free agents next month. (Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“But you can’t dwell on it for too long, because guess what? Another season’s going to roll back around, and you got to be ready for it. So, it’s pretty much back to the drawing board. We’ve got a lot of faith in our team. And we’ll continue to work towards that goal.”

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Jackson and Damar Hamlin spoke to Fox News Digital on behalf of Bounty in promotion of the Ultimate Wingmen campaign ahead of Super Bowl LVIII. 

“It’s been a great blessing for us,” Jackson said of the campaign and of Hamlin. “We go way back. We grew up together. We’ve got a lot of history together. Seeing our journey, the trials and tribulations that we’ve been through to get to where we’re at and to be in this position to pair up with Bounty – he’s been my wingman my entire life.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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