The man who finished last season as the AFC’s leading tackler looks like he’s going to finish out his February on a similarly high note.
Former Maryland star linebacker D’Qwell Jackson reportedly has agreed to a five-year deal worth $42.5 million, according to The (Cleveland) Plain-Dealer. That’s not close to the $10.5 million Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs makes annually, but it’s a nice chunk of change nonetheless.
It’s also quite the reversal of fortune for the six-year NFL veteran. A year ago, he was on the mend after a second straight pectoral injury ended his 2010 season before it ever began. Sixteen games and 158 tackles later – a total that trailed only Redskins linebacker London Fletcher (166) – Jackson was in the Browns’ crosshairs again.
He’s the first of what will be a few former stars who wore the Maryland red and white to see green this offseason. Vikings linebackerE.J. Henderson, who has racked up a combined 215 tackles the past two seasons, is set to be a free agent this offseason. So, too, is brother Erin, who moved into a part-time starting role in Minnesota last year after three seasons with the team.
There’s no word on whether Jackson plans to donate any of his millions to save Maryland’s at-risk sports teams (or football team, for that matter), but, as always, we’ll keep you updated.
Jonas Shaffer is a sports reporting intern at The Baltimore Sun. The senior journalism major at the University of Maryland also serves as sports editor of The Diamondback. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him at twitter.com/jonas_shaffer.