It’s always interesting how one team views another’s talent.
ESPN’S Adam Schefter reported that D'Qwell Jackson received four years and $22 million to sign with the Indianapolis Colts, with $11 million guaranteed. It’s tough to think the Browns could not have paid him that much. Jackson had been slated to have a cap number of $8 million with the Browns, including $4.1 million in bonuses.
The details of the Colts deal aren’t known, but for the Browns and Jackson not to be able to come to an agreement similar to the one with the Colts shows three things: Either the Browns didn’t offer that much, Jackson wanted more to stay in Cleveland, or he really and truly was ready for a new team and home.
Somehow it seems the latter carried the day. The Browns described Jackson’s departure as a mutual decision, and Jackson talked as if he was ready for a new team, tired of the constant upheaval and change with the Browns.
Perhaps it simply was time.
There is risk for the Colts. Jackson is 30, and though he’s a good player he’s not a great player. Age could catch him at any time, but productive linebackers do not typically see a great dropoff from ages 30 to 35.
The Colts are the same team that traded a first-round draft pick for Trent Richardson, and that hired Rob Chudzinski. Jackson will do all he can to make sure that the Colts' investment was wise.
Time will tell if the Colts made a smart move. But Jackson gets to join a team that has Andrew Luck at quarterback, and as Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said at the combine, “You’ve got a chance to win your division ever year if he is playing for you.”
Which means Jackson probably finishes his career with a team that should always compete for the playoffs.
Tough to think he doesn't deserve that after all these long and cold seasons in Cleveland.