David Richard/Associated Press
Linebacker D'Qwell Jackson is the heart and soul of Cleveland's defense.
However, there's a problem with Jackson entering the 2014 season, and it revolves around his contract.
The eight-year veteran would receive a $4.1 million roster bonus in March, which would be included in a total salary of $9.43 million. Cleveland sits approximately $46 million under the salary cap, but that total may be too much for CEO Joe Banner to spend on a 30-year old.
Jackson's performance remains stellar, as he played in all 16 games for the third straight season, and in this past campaign, he topped his 2012 combined tackles total with 141.
The Largo, Fla., native told Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal back on Dec. 27 that he wants to stay put.
I'll be here next year...We got a good, solid foundation here. I love what we’re doing...So I’ll be the first in line to say I want to be here for the future. No one from the front office has let me know or my agent know that I wasn’t a part of their plans.
When asked about the possibility of changing his current contract to stick around, Jackson replied, "I pay my agent some good money and hopefully he can come up with something to make both sides happy. If that was the case, I trust my team would get something done."
Leadership and passion cannot be calculated by a formula or detailed analytics. Jackson is clearly excited to remain a Brown, and there's no good reason why a restructured deal should not keep him in Cleveland.