Cleveland Browns 2011 Offseason: Is It Time To Cut Ties with D'Qwell Jackson?

Brian MurtaughAnalyst IFebruary 22, 2011

CLEVELAND - OCTOBER 13:  Derrick Ward #34 of the New York Giants gets pulled down by the face mask by D'Qwell Jackson #52 of the Cleveland Browns on October 13, 2008 at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland won the game 35-14.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns have undergone some significant changes in the last several seasons and many of those came from the departure of older talent and injury-prone players.

The Browns have worked to build a team full of solid leadership and players that can make an impact on Sundays rather than sit the bench and collect money.

With the exception of Jake Delhomme and a few others, most of the Browns' highly paid players had a good season in 2010-11 and should be safe when Cleveland continues to clean house later this summer.

D'Qwell Jackson is a wild card on the Cleveland Browns roster heading into the 2011-12 season and it is a mystery as to what the new coaching regime may do with him.

Jackson was one of the league's best up-and-coming players through the 2006-2008 seasons but has been limited by pectoral injuries throughout the last two years and did not even make it out of training camp last season.

Jackson even led the entire NFL in 2008 with 154 tackles and six pass deflections.

Dick Jauron, the Browns defensive coordinator, is said to be switching the team to a 4-3 defense next season. This means that the middle linebacker position must be versatile, intelligent and a leader on the defense.

Even though Jackson showed all of those qualities before his injuries, some experts are skeptical if he will ever return to his 2008 form.

The Browns currently have a bit of a hole at the middle linebacker position as Chris Gocong and Eric Barton worked the middle of the field in Rob Ryan's 3-4 scheme.

Pat Shurmur and the rest of his coaching staff will have to take a long look at Jackson and if he can bounce back from yet another season on injured reserve. If the coaches feel confident enough to re-sign him, Jackson was seeking a long-term deal last summer before signing a one-year tender with the Browns.

Other teams that may be willing to take a chance on Jackson would have to include the Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders and the Washington Redskins.