Patriots called RB Fred Jackson within an hour of his release

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When the Buffalo Bills released veteran running back Fred Jackson on Aug. 31, it sparked the question in New England: Would the Patriots be interested?

Jackson is a longtime Bill Belichick favorite.

It turns out the Patriots were.

In a piece chronicling Jackson's transition from Buffalo to Seattle, Tim Graham of the Buffalo News wrote the following: "The move stunned many at One Bills Drive. Within an hour, he said, two clubs had called to sign him: the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. ... To immediately hear from last season’s Super Bowl teams hardened Jackson’s resolve that he still could contribute and help somebody -- if not the Bills -- make a championship run."

Said Jackson: "It revitalizes you. Instead of being down in the dumps and feeling sorry for yourself, you say, 'I know teams think I can still play.'"

It's no surprise that the Patriots were one of them.