The Cleveland Browns have cut one of their most productive and respected players, 30 year old middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson. The 2006 seond-round draft pick was going to be due $4.1 million in bonuses on March 15th. D’Qwell’s age and expensive contract may have been the deciding factors for the Browns. In a statement reported by ESPN, the Browns described the decision to part ways mutual.
In a statement released by the Cleveland Browns team general manager Ray Farmer had this to say, “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.”
D’Qwell was well liked by Cleveland Browns players, fans, and coaches. Tributes to Jackson have poured in from social media today.
Cleveland Browns teammate, Joe Haden, tweeted, “Thanks 4 everything boss! True example of a pro! @DQ52 good luck with everything!! #MademeaBetterLeader.”
“DQ is a leader of men,” Browns tight end Jordan Cameron posted. “Gave me confidence when I had none and listened when I needed someone. Most underrated player in the NFL.”
Nathan Zegura, from clevelandbrowns.com, made this comment about Jackson, “I think (cutting Jackson) makes it more important to re-sign (safety) T.J. Ward. There will definitely be a leadership change and I am expecting (cornerback) Joe Haden to step up. The leadership will be the toughest thing to replace.”
In a statement to fans released by Jackson he wrote, “It’s been an honor playing in front of you.”
Despite Jackson’s popularity in Cleveland, and the fact that he led the team in tackles last year with 139, D’Qwell was cut due to financial reasons. According to ESPN, “His salary cap cost had been slated to be $8.1 million, with the linebackers in total accounting for $24 million of the salary cap.”
Herm Edwards told ESPN in an interview, “Players know this, ya know, they get those big contracts and it’s all good the first two or three years but they know, you know what, I’m not probably going to be here for the end of it.”
By cutting D’Qwell Jackson the Cleveland Browns are saving $8.1 million dollars salary cap room. ESPN listed the top ten salaries by players in the Cleveland Browns organization. They are listed here in order of total cash cost for this year.
- LT Joe Thomas, $11.1 million (includes $200k workout bonus)
- LB Paul Kruger, $7 million
- CB Joe Haden, $6.878 million ($200k workout bonus)
- DL Ahtyba Ruben, $6.8 million ($200k workout bonus)
- QB Jason Campbell, $3.25 million ($325k roster bonus)
- WR Davone Bess, $3.067 million
- DL Desmond Bryantt, $3.0 million
- OG John Greco, $2.43 million ($1.7 million roster bonus)
- DL Phil Taylor, $1.478 million ($728k roster bonus)
- CB Buster Skrine, $1.389 million
- TE Jordan Cameron, $1.389 million
- OG Jason Pinkston, $1.389 million