The Browns released inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson on Wednesday, after eight seasons with the team.
Jackson, drafted in the second round in 2006, led the team in tackles in 2013 for the third straight year, and during his eight-year run played 97 games with 96 starts, compiling 891 career tackles, 11½ sacks, eight interceptions, five forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries.
The Browns were facing a $4.1 million roster bonus for Jackson on March 16, and had several talks with Jackson's agent, but failed to reach a new deal.
"We had positive discussion with D'Qwell and his agent over the last several days, and we came to the mutual agreement to go in different directions", General Manager Ray Farmer said in a statement. "D'Qwell is the epitome of class, leadership and professionalism. Every day of his NFL career, D'Qwell has been a solid representative of the Browns and the City of Cleveland, both between the lines on Sundays and off the field in our area community. We want to thank him for his eight years of service and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors."
Jackson issued a statement himself, saying "To the people of Cleveland and Browns fans everywhere: Eight years ago I began a journey that blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of a wonderful organization and community. I want to take this time to thank each and every one of you for opening your arms and hearts to my family and me, and for making Cleveland an easy place to love and call home. It's been an honor playing in front of you.
"I also would like to thank the Browns players, coaches and staff for their tireless work and commitment. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all and will always carry you with me."