NFL: Indianapolis Colts sign linebacker D'Qwell Jackson from Cleveland Browns
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 06/03/14 6:38pm
D'Qwell Jackson of the Cleveland Browns intercepts a pass
The Indianapolis Colts have strengthened their defensive unit by landing the signature of former Cleveland linebacker D'Qwell Jackson.
Jackson was released by the Browns last week after spending eight seasons in Cleveland, but he drew a lot of interest around the NFL and visited five teams who wanted to add him to their ranks.
The 30-year-old inside linebacker has decided to join the Colts, who have signed him on a four-year deal worth around $22 million - half of that being guaranteed.
Jackson said that the mean reason for him opting to move to Indy was because of Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, who he seems to have developed an immediate rapport with.
Colts owner Jim Irsay, as he has a habit of doing, announced the deal on Twitter, before general manager Ryan Grigson confirmed the move.
"We are pleased to announce the signing of inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson," Grigson said in a statement. "He is a team-first guy that has been a very consistent producer on the field.
"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."
Jackson was a large part of a defence Cleveland defence despite the team going through multiple head coaches and defensive coordinators over a turbulent last few years.
He will be reunited with last year's head coach in Cleveland - his fourth during his time with the team - Rob Chudzinski, who is now an assistant to Pagano in Indianapolis.
Indy will have an upgrade with Jackson in their team to a defence that was ninth in the league in points allowed but did get blown away on a few occasions - and notably gave way in the play-offs conceding 40-plus points in both their post-season games.