The Indianapolis Colts have made their first roster move under new general manager Chris Ballard, and it’s a significant one: they cut inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson.
“D’Qwell is a consummate professional,” head coach Chuck Pagano said in a statement released by the team. “The way he approaches the game is second to none. His leadership and mentorship provided a valuable example for the younger players on this team. We are grateful for all of his contributions to the organization and wish him the best.”
The move saves the Colts $5.5 million in cap space, and it was one that many could probably see coming. Jackson is a 33-year old linebacker who’s been a somewhat limited player for the Colts in recent years and who last year was suspended for the final four games of the season. With a new GM coming in, it’s not a surprise to see Jackson as one of the guys cut.
Jackson spent three seasons with the Colts and led the team in tackles all three years, recording 366 tackles to go along with eight sacks, 14 passes defensed, an interception, and two forced fumbles as he started 44 games. He made his first career Pro Bowl in 2014, while a member of the Colts. He’s compiled an impressive NFL career, but in Indianapolis he was mainly just a guy who racked up a ton of tackles. That was something the Colts needed and still do need, however, and now it means that the Colts will have to address all four linebacker positions this offseason. It’s safe to say that will surely be a focal point for Ballard.