Browns Likely to Franchise D’Qwell Jackson
Cleveland Browns middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson was coming off of two straight injury-plagued seasons in 2009 and 2010 before finishing in second for the Comeback Player of the Year award in 2011. Due to his high level of play, the Browns want to lock him up for the future.
According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Browns intend to “franchise [Jackson] if they can’t sign him to a multi-year deal.” Jackson is reportedly seeking a five-year deal that would likely keep him on the Browns for the rest of his career; he is already 28-years-old and has spent his whole career with the Browns since being drafted in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft. Placing the franchise tag on Jackson would cost the team $8.8 million according to league numbers.
Jackson recorded career-highs in tackles with 158, solo tackles with 116 (also a league-high), and sacks with 3.5. Additionally, Jackson was named AFC Defensive Player of the Month in September last season, was a first-alternate for the Pro Bowl, and also won the Browns’ Ed Block Courage award which was voted on by the team’s players.
It’s easy to see why the Browns want to keep him around, as he is a leader of a young Browns defense that is steadily improving each season. If the Browns do franchise him for 2012, expect them to be working out that multi-year deal with Jackson that will keep him with the team for 2013 and beyond.