D'Qwell Jackson commended Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer in a conference call with the Indianapolis Colts media, saying no bridges were burned when he was released by the Browns and he appreciated Farmer talking directly with him about his contract.
The former Browns linebacker signed with the Colts on Thursday, and no doubt appreciated being released before the start of free agency so he could get a jump on finding a new team.
"I knew there was a possibility of me being released ... but he gave me the opportunity, he gave me a call. We talked about it," Jackson said, according to a transcript sent out by the Colts. "I was willing to restructure because I spent so much time in Cleveland. It meant something to finish your career in one place, but this is a business. I understand that. We talked about it, it didn't work out and no bridges were burned."
Among his other points:
• The fact that former Browns coach Rob Chudzinski is now an assistant with the Colts contributed to Jackson's decision to join the Colts over Miami, Denver and Tennessee.
"Once I became free and I was allowed to speak to teams, (Chudzinski) was one of the first calls that I personally made," Jackson said. "He's a big part of me being here today. I thought highly of him last year when he was my head coach in Cleveland. He hadn't been here for a long time but I trusted his judgment. We had a great run in Cleveland.
"It's unfortunate it didn't work out, but all things happen for a reason and here we are today."
One man's "great run" is another's fireable offense, evidently.
• The fact the Colts have Andrew Luck at quarterback was significant.
"If you've been in this game long enough, you start to realize if you don't have a guy under center, it's going to be hard for you to be in a place with stability and let alone win games," he said. "Unfortunately, that's been my career in Cleveland.
"But it never stopped my drive, my passion, the way I prepared, the way I played the game at all. I can only imagine. That's why I'm so excited today because there is a guy under center. I feel it's like it's going to re-energize the batteries. I feel like everything happens for a reason. I'm in the right place."
-- Finally, Jackson hinted that he may have taken less money to play for the Colts than he was offered elsewhere.
"Every guy has a reason why they play the game. In my opinion," he said. "I'm going in Year 9, I've made a great living so far so the decision for me was easy. It wasn't a financial decision. It was a decision to be around a good group of guys, first and foremost, and a team that was willing to get to the Super Bowl and that's what it comes down to. It's the passion of the game."