Colts agree to terms with free agent linebacker D’Qwell Jackson

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INDIANAPOLIS (March 6, 2014) – The Indianapolis Colts bolstered their linebacking corps in their first major move of free agency.

The team announced Thursday that it agreed to terms with free agent linebacker D’Qwell Jackson.

Jackson, a 6’0, 240-pound linebacker, started 96 of 97 games in eight seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland picked him in the second round (34th overall) in the 2006 NFL Draft out of the University of Maryland. For his professional career, he has 891 tackles (566 solo), 11.5 sacks, 28 passes defensed, eight interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, seven fumble recoveries and five forced fumbles. Jackson has posted six 100-tackle seasons, while leading the team on five occasions (2007-08, 2011-13).

He’s started 48 consecutive games dating back to the 2011 season.

“He is a team-first guy that has been a very consistent producer on the field,” said Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson in a news release. “The tempo, energy and determination he plays with are right up there with the best in this league. He brings a welcomed element of experience and natural leadership to our team and we are excited to add him to the strong nucleus of linebackers we currently have on our roster.”

Last season, Jackson started all 16 games and played in every defensive snap except for one. He finished with a team-high 143 tackles (92 solo), 1.5 sacks, seven passes defensed, one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He also topped the 10-tackle mark in seven games.

The Browns released Jackson to avoid paying him a $4.1 million workout bonus. Pro Football Talk reports that Jackson signed a four-year deal worth $22 million with $11 million guaranteed.

Colts owner Jim Irsay and the Colts tweeted about the signing Thursday morning:

 

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