31-Year-Old Linebacker – Indianapolis Colts
2014 Fantasy Football Outlook
The Browns shed Jackson's big contract in the offseason, replacing him with Karlos Dansby, which led to Jackson signing on to serve as Indianapolis' second inside linebacker alongside Jerrell Freeman....
D'Qwell Jackson Contract Information:
Signed a four-year, $22 million deal with the Colts in March of 2014.
Jackson had 10 tackles and a sack in Sunday's win over Jacksonville.
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Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
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A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
D'Qwell Jackson: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)The report notes that $11 million of Jackson's deal with the Colts is guaranteed. With Pat Angerer not expected to be re-signed by the team, look for Jackson to start at inside linebacker for Indy along with Jerrell Freeman. The 30-year-old Jackson -- who topped the Browns with 141 tackles in 2013 -- will thus be reunited with Rob Chudzinski, his coach in Cleveland in 2013, who is now a special assistant to Colts head coach Chuck Pagano.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)The 30-year-old linebacker was recently let go by Cleveland, but Jackson, who has already been in touch with the Titans, is sure to draw his share of interest in free agency on the heels of a season in which he led the Browns with 141 tackles.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)The move was made in advance of a $4.1 million roster bonus that the team was slated to pay the linebacker on March 15. The report suggests that the Browns and Jackson had some dialogue about a possible restructure, but the 30-year-old -- who topped the team with 141 tackles in 2013 -- is now free to sign elsewhere.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Jackson is slated to carry a $9.43 million cap charge in 2014, so it's possible that he may need to restructure his deal in order to remain a Brown. The inside linebacker is coming off a 2013 campaign in which he led the team with 141 tackles.
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Jackson's solo tackle total from 2012 dropped to a confusingly low number of 64, but the huge tackle totals he posted the rest of his career give every reason to dismiss that as a fluke. Jackson managed to salvage the final tackle tally by piling on 55 assists, giving him a total of 119, but he still fell well short of his typical standards. In 2011, for instance, Jackson had 116 solo stops along with 42 assists. Expect Jackson to make a run at triple-digit solo tackles again in 2013, with his value further aided by reliable production on turnovers and sacks. Over the last two years Jackson has five fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles, seven sacks and three interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown in 2012.
If Jackson’s durability could be assured, he would be worth ranking second behind Patrick Willis. Only London Fletcher finished with more tackles than Jackson in 2012, as the Maryland product ended the year with 158 stops, including an impressive 116 solo tackles. Jackson surpassed 150 tackles in both of the 16-game seasons he has played in the NFL, making his per-game production is absolutely stellar. The problem is that those two 16-game seasons occurred over a six-year span, meaning Jackson is easily the biggest durability risk among the top tier of linebacker IDPs. Still, IDPs are generally a dime a dozen after the top tier, giving one an incentive to swing for the fences with Jackson; it won't be difficult to find a non-liability replacement if he does get hurt. If he stays healthy, though, he can win you games, especially in leagues that place a heavy premium on solo tackle production. Over his last 38 games, Jackson’s production projects to a 16-game total of 156 tackles (108 solo), two sacks and two interceptions. With either rookie Brandon Weeden or Colt McCoy at quarterback, furthermore, the Cleveland offense figures to uphold its tradition of poor play, resulting in plenty of snaps for Jackson and the Browns defense.
With two seasons in a row wiped out by upper-body injuries, Jackson has a lower floor than most players listed in this range. But he’s worth listing this high due to his productivity when healthy. The sideline-to-sideline playmaker has 213 tackles (141 solo), two sacks, three interceptions and a forced fumble in his last 22 games. That projects to about 155 tackles (103 solo) over a 16-game season. Expecting 16 games from Jackson is probably reckless, but even a partial season with that level of production can make a difference.
Jackson racked up more than 150 tackles in 2008 and was on pace to match that total last year when a Week 6 shoulder injury ended his season prematurely. He should be back at full strength to start the season. The Browns will be deeper at linebacker than in recent years, with Eric Barton also expected to return from injury and Scott Fujita and Chris Gocong added to the mix, but a healthy Jackson is still probably the best of the bunch, and middle linebackers in Eric Mangini’s system have generally been very good IDP options. Jackson should come cheaper this season, but one word of warning: he’s threatening to sit out training camp if he doesn’t receive a long-term contract from the Browns, which he says he was promised under the previous regime.
The addition of Shaun Rogers to the interior of Cleveland’s defensive line helped free up Jackson in a big way last season, as the Browns’ inside linebacker led the NFL with 154 tackles - up from 101 the year before. New Browns coach Eric Mangini’s 3-4 system is heavily reliant on inside linebackers making plays, which will continue to allow Jackson to use his speed and athleticism to track down ball carriers. The scheme is reportedly similar to last year’s under Romeo Crennel, which figures considering the coaches’ shared roots under Bill Belichick in New England. Jackson also had three interceptions last year and two sacks. Expect another productive season.
Jackson has dealt with injuries in his first two NFL seasons, but proved in 2007 that he is capable of putting up quality IDP stats. Should Jackson play a full season, he stats will only continue to improve.
Assuming Jackson will return fully healed from his season-ending injury last year, he is expected to have a big season this year. With one year under his belt, he could post even better numbers this year.
Starting linebacker for the Browns. Expectations are relatively high for the rookie.