The Cleveland Browns have inked standout Middle Linebacker, D’Qwell Jackson to a 5 year, $42.5M deal. The contract allows for $19M in guaranteed money.
Jackson, while immensley talented, has been plagued with injuries the past couple of years. Jackson missed 10 games in 2009 with a torn left pectoral muscle and the entire 2010 season after tearing his right pectoral. Jackson admits that he didn’t know if he’d ever play again saying, “As I sit here today, I can remember dating back over a year ago when I didn’t know whether or not [I'd be back].”
The Browns were repaid handsomely for standing by “DQ52” as he had a Pro-Bowl calibur season in 2011 recording 158 tackles (finishing 2nd in the NFL behind London Fletcher with 166).
While it is clear that Jackson warrants this type of contract when healthy, it is a little bit of a roll of the dice tying up $19M in guaranteed money for a guy who has missed 26 games in the past 3 seasons.
If Jackson can remain healthy, however, the Browns have locked up a top tier MLB and a locker room leader for forseeable future.