As expected, more and more releases are coming out this week ahead of some players’ contracts becoming guaranteed for 2017. Many of those players are cap casualties. The latest is veteran middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson who was released by the Colts today.
Jackson missed the final four games of last season due to a suspension for breaking the league’s rules for performance enhancing drugs. The 33-year-old, just two seasons removed from a Pro Bowl invite, was due $5.75 million this season with basically no dead money if cut.
An extremely durable veteran middle linebacker, Jackson has led the Colts in tackles all three of his seasons in Indianapolis and was the Browns leading tackler three seasons before that. In that time he hasn’t missed a single game to injury, dating back to 2010.
Over his 10-year career he has averaged nearly 9 tackles per game and 138 tackles over a 16-game season. Those numbers have actually improved in recent seasons. That’s pretty amazing, really.
There is a huge hole at middle linebacker currently for the Raiders. Perry Riley Jr filled the spot much of last season after he was signed off the street prior to week five. He is now set to become a free agent.
Obviously Jackson wouldn’t be a long term solution either. But he can be signed right away and would offer a veteran presence as well as insurance should the team not find a better option in free agency or the draft.