The Sports Xchange
NFL Team Report - Cleveland Browns - INSIDE SLANT
The move was the first major transaction for new general manager Ray Farmer.
"We had positive discussions with D'Qwell and his agent over the last several days, and we came to the mutual agreement to go in different directions," Farmer said in a statement. "D'Qwell is the epitome of class, leadership and professionalism. Every day of his NFL career, D'Qwell has been a solid representative of the Browns and the city of Cleveland, both between the lines on Sundays and off the field in our area community."
Jackson, the Browns' second-round pick in 2006 out of Maryland, is now free to sign with any NFL team. He started 96 games in eight seasons for the Browns.
"To the people of Cleveland and Browns fans everywhere: eight years ago I began a journey that blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of a wonderful organization and community," Jackson said in a statement. "I want to take this time to thank each and every one of you for opening your arms and hearts to my family and I, and for making Cleveland an easy place to love and call home. It's been an honor playing in front of you.
"I also would like to thank the Browns players, coaches, and staff for their tireless work and commitment. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all and will always carry you with me."
According to Cleveland.com, the 30-year-old Jackson signed a five-year extension last year through 2016 worth $42.5 million -- including $19 million in guarantees and bonuses. In addition to the $4.1 million roster bonus, Jackson was set to make $3.93 million this season. His salaries for 2015 and 2016 were $7.73 million and $7 million, respectively.
He will still count $4.2 million in dead money on their cap, but that is $5.233 million less than Jackson would have counted if on the roster.
--Mike Pettine took a phone call Friday afternoon, a warning of sorts, that a report was soon to be released that the Cleveland Browns attempted to trade draft picks for San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh.
"I got a phone call saying that that report was about to come out. I shot the messenger a little bit," Pettine said to media at the Scouting Combine on Saturday morning. "I said how does that affect my tenure as head coach? I think my next sentence I either said flying followed by something or reference a part of a rat's body."
Pettine was hired by a front-office group -- led by CEO Joe Banner and general manager Mike Lombardi -- that was replaced two weeks into his tenure as a head coach. Ray Farmer, a veteran scout interviewed by the Miami Dolphins, was promoted to general manager.
Farmer was not present for Pettine's interview. The perception of dysfunction and disarray are not distractions, Pettine said.
"I'm the proverbial guy from the mailroom," Pettine said. "I don't have the pedigree of most college or pro coaches. The perception, real or imagined, motivates me. That I was just the guy getting Rex (Ryan) coffee."
Pettine said even though the Harbaugh report left him red-faced, in one way that is a credit to owner Jimmy Haslam.
"I think it shows that the organization is committed to getting it turned around, that they would investigate that option," Pettine said.
The report, to Pettine, is a part of the "noise" and he's striving to eliminate the negative. Asked if there seems to be more "noise" in Cleveland, Pettine bit his lip.
"That is potentially an accurate statement," Pettine said. "I'm hoping it's going to get quieter."