Cleveland (WOIO) - Two short years ago D'Qwell Jackson signed a five year contract with the Browns worth $42.5 million, with $19 million in guarantees and bonuses, the type of deal that certainly seemed to indicate that Jackson would finish his career here in Cleveland. Tonight, he's a member of the Indianapolis Colts, with the ink still drying on a new deal that'll cover four years and pay him $22 million, half of that money guaranteed. That's how quickly things change in the NFL.
The Browns, who have plenty of money to spend this offseason, didn't believe Jackson, at the age of 30, was worth the $4.1 million roster bonus he was due, which would have put him in the $8 million range. And they may be right, in terms of where this franchise is. As strong a leader as Jackson is, and as solid a linebacker as he's been, the fact is the Browns are more than a few players away from seriously contending, and need to spend their money on young, dynamic playmakers.
To the Colts, D'Qwell is worth more. They are just a couple of players away from changing the power structure in the AFC. A dependable player, and respected veteran voice, like Jackson should help push their defense over the top, and when you're knocking on the door, money isn't an issue.
That's not to say D'Qwell won't be missed. Fellow linebacker Barkevious Mingo reminded us of how the Browns defense always looked to Jackson for leadership. But Mingo also said he believes they can replace that leadership, with somebody like T.J. Ward.
We didn't have the heart to tell him that T.J. could be next. One key loss at a time. But...financially, for the Browns, and the Colts for that matter, this move made sense.
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