“We are pleased to announce the signing of inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson,” general manager Ryan Grigson said, via the team web site. “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.”
CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports that Jackson's deal is for four years and worth $22 million, including $11 million in guaranteed money.
Indianapolis headed into free agency with roughly $40 million in salary-cap room and clear needs on the defensive side of the ball, especially in the running game, which ranked 22nd in the league last season, according to Football Outsiders.
Any doubts about the Colts moving on from linebacker Pat Angerer were confirmed by the addition of Jackson. Interestingly, neither player had a particularly productive 2013 season. In 11 games, Angerer earned a -10.0 grade from ProFootballFocus.com, while Jackson graded out at -11.6 over 16 games. But Angerer has struggled with injuries and Jackson is a more athletic presence in the middle of the defense.
Two offseasons ago, Jackson signed a five-year, $42 million extension with the Browns. By releasing him last week, the Browns avoided paying him a $4.1 million workout bonus.