The Browns released longtime inside linebacker and team leader D'Qwell Jackson, the team announced Wednesday.
Jackson, the Browns' second-round pick in the 2006 draft, was the team's longest-tenured player. He started 96 games in eight seasons in Cleveland, amassing 891 tackles, 11.5 sacks, eight interceptions, five forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries.
Mark Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reports Jackson was scheduled to receive a $4.1 million roster bonus on March 16, and the Browns' restructured front office elected to part ways with him rather than pay him.
New Browns general manager Ray Farmer said via the team's release that Jackson and the Browns came to a mutual agreement on the move:
“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. 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 thanked the team, Browns fans and the city of Cleveland via a press release:
"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."
#Browns LB D'Qwell Jackson was due a $4.1 million roster bonus March 16th. The Browns chose not to pay it. — Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) February 26, 2014