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What's the next move for Fred Jackson?

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- When Fred Jackson informed Buffalo Bills safety Aaron Williams about his sudden release from the team Monday morning, Williams' first question to Jackson was, "What's next?"

Jackson told Williams that he is weighing his options and "preparing what's best for him and his family."

"He's down, he's disappointed," defensive tackle Kyle Williams said of Jackson. "But if he still wants to play, he can still play."

If Jackson forgoes retirement and seeks work elsewhere, the Bills might not have to wait long to see Jackson again. New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has long been fond of Jackson, and the Patriots' backfield is unsettled enough to allow Jackson to find a role.

That would make for one heck of a homecoming for Jackson when the Patriots come to Ralph Wilson Stadium in Week 2, but Ryan didn't seem concerned Monday.

"Hey, if it is the best thing for Fred, then so be it," Ryan said of the possibility of Jackson jumping to an AFC East rival.

Ryan believes the Bills did Jackson a favor by releasing him at the 75-man cut-down date instead of Saturday's cut to 53 players.

"You know in fairness to Fred probably the best-case scenario was that he was released today," he said. "Gives him an opportunity to look elsewhere to see if it is a better situation. That was rough without question. The respect that I have for Fred as a player goes back to obviously the years of going against him and the fact that I know he can still play. You know I think that’s tough."

Williams, a close friend of Jackson since being drafted by the Bills in 2011, wouldn't hold anything back if Jackson suited up for another team in the division.

"I wouldn't care. I'd smack him," Williams said. "It's just another opponent. He's not with us anymore. Right now he's not with us and if he is with whomever, then it's my job to stop him. He knows it's nothing personal. It's all business. In between those lines, it's game time. Outside those lines, we're gonna be brothers like we've always been."