The Cleveland Browns just released 7 year veteran Linebacker D'Qwell Jackson who turned in yet another solid season
The Cleveland Browns just released eight year veteran D'Qwell Jackson earlier this week. The Steelers could use a buck linebacker to go next to Lawrence Timmons. Jackson is coming off a strong season in which he led the Browns in tackles at 141 added an interception and 1.5 sacks to go along with that.
He has had three straight seasons with 100 or more tackles and has had at least 90 tackles in all but one of his 7 year career which was in 2009 when he got injured in an early season matchup against Pittsburgh but was on pace to finish well over 100
There are alot of questions at ILB for the Steelers and he is a guy you can sign relatively cheap and would be an instant starter. The Steelers plan to be more active in free agency this year and Jackson is a guy who should definitely be brought in for a visit. He was brought into the NFL 1 year before current ILB Timmons. Jackson is still relatively young turning 31 in September. He is a buck linebacker which is exactly what Timmons, our best defensive player could use. As many of you know, we lacked a good buck linebacker due to the injury to Larry Foote. Vince Williams played better than anyone could have thought, but was out of position at times and showed his age, but you can't blame him for it either. At the very least, he is a competent backup and depth is key.
Troy Polamalu also played a lot of linebacker this year and while he is at his best near the line of scrimmage, it was usually as the 8th or 9th man in the box, not as an inside backer.
So the question is what to do with Foote? He turns 34, but is still a good player and had a career year in 2012. The question you have to ask is what player gives you a better chance to win? Is it Jackson or Foote? The best case scenario would to have Jackson and Foote battle it out in camp and see which one is the better player. Neither Williams, Spence or Garvin is ready to be a 3 down linebacker so having the job going to Foote or Jackson makes sense.
Jackson stated he wanted to go to a stable organization and what a better one than Pittsburgh. They have a QB who is capable of winning championships and an up and coming offense. Jackson would not only bring stability to the position, but also some intangibles and leadership. The Browns looked to him as a leader during his time there. There are alot of good things that Jackson can bring to Pittsburgh if the price is right.
UPDATE: Jackson is scheduled to meet with Denver and Tennessee this week