Since the end of the season, the Cleveland Browns have bid farewell to their head coach, general manager, CEO and now the heartbeat of their defense.
Linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, due a $4.1 million roster bonus on March 15, was cut by the Browns, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Jackson signed a five-year extension a year ago worth $42.5 million, which included $19 million in guarantees and bonuses. He also was slated to make $3.93 million in base salary this season, along with salaries of $7.73 million and $7 million, respectively, for 2015 and 2016.
Jackson issued a statement after finding out he'd been cut:
To the people of Cleveland and Browns fans everywhere: 8 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 I, and for making Cleveland an easy place to love and call home. Its 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.
New head coach Mike Pettine was asked about Jackson's future and refused to comment but praised Jackson for his respect and work ethic in the locker room. Jackson said late last season he'd be absolutely shocked if he wasn't back in 2014.
Jackson appeared to want to be a part of the never-ending rebuilding process in Cleveland and hinted he might be open to redo his deal to return. But there apparently was not enough wiggle room on either side to find that common ground, and Jackson — one of the more beloved players in the Browns' locker room in his past eight seasons there — was set free.
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