Berea, OH – For eight years, Cleveland Browns middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson gave his heart-and-soul to his team. The nine-year veteran and captain of the Browns defense battled serious adversity with injuries and personal things in his life. This afternoon, the Browns and Jackson decided to part ways. Much like the departed Phil Dawson, Jackson was a class act, mentor for many younger players on the team, and wore orange-and-brown proudly despite being apart of just one winning season. This is a tribute to the man who wore #52 very well.
Faced with his first tough decision, new general manager Ray Farmer may have shown his cards with releasing Jackson. Without Jackson, the Browns defense will be revamped and the focus will be on quick athletic linebackers. At the dangerous 30-year-old mark in the NFL, Jackson just didn’t fit the bill.
Famer had this to say in his statement released to the press, “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.”
It’s going to be tough for Browns fans everywhere to not see Jackson in the middle of the defense in 2014. It is well-known that Jackson is one of the game’s best tacklers. He led the Browns in tackles in each of his last three seasons and averaged 139 tackles per season in that timespan.
It is sad that a guy like Jackson never got to don an orange helmet in the post season. Jackson wore that iconic orange helmet with pride for 97 games. He accumulated 824 combination tackles (530 solo), 11.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, eight interceptions, and one memorable touchdown against Philly on opening day of 2012.
Like many famous faces that have given their all to this diehard fan base, Jackson spoke genuinely in his 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.” Jackson went on to say, “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.”
With any new management, new faces will be brought in to fill the gaping holes. The Browns will be fine without Jackson who played his guts out for his city and teammates. But, no one will ever forget the man who was drafted in the second round from the University of Maryland in 2006.
Ryan Ruiz is the Cleveland Browns Beat Writer for The Inscriber: Digital Magazine. You can follow him on Facebook: Ryan (BrownsWriter) Ruiz and Twitter @ryanpruiz24. Ryan is also a Browns correspondent for The Sportsfix. Tune in every Friday at noon on www.thesportsfix.net. Email Ryan at [email protected]