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Browns waive Jackson
February 26, 2014 - Mike McLain
CLEVELAND -- It was fairly clear at the conclusion of the 2013 NFL season that linebacker D'Qwell Jackson had played his final game with the Browns.
It became official Wednesday when the team announced its decision to waive the 30-year-old Jackson, a second-round draft choice out of Maryland in 2006. The move was all about money. Releasing Jackson before he was owed a $4.1 roster bonus in a couple weeks potentially frees up $9.3 million in cap space, including $3.9 in base salary.
The Browns will take a salary-cap hit on the remaining installments of the prorated $7 million signing bonus Jackson was awarded when he signed a five-year, $38.5 million extension prior to the 2012 season. The Browns, who were $46 million below the salary cap before the move, could accelerate the prorated portions over one year and take a $4.2 million hit this year or spread the amount over two years for a 2014 hit of $2.1 million.
It was a move that had to be done. Jackson is a solid player, but he doesn't possess impact skills. With seven picks in the first four rounds of the draft in hand, the Browns undoubtedly feel they can land a capable replacement for Jackson in the draft. They may also have a linebacker targeted in free agency with the considerable amount of money they will have available.
It was the first major move made since Ray Farmer replaced ousted general manager Michael Lombardi.
"We had positive discussions with D’Qwell and his agent over the last several days, and we came to the mutual agreement to go in different directions,” Farmer said in a statement released by the team. “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 community. We want to thank him for his eight years of service and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”
Jackson expressed many thanks for his eight-year run in Cleveland through the following statement:
"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.”
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