For eight seasons, D’Qwell Jackson did everything for the Browns.
He overcame serious injuries to play at a high level. He led the team tackles. He became a locker room leader, showing the way for younger players. And, he did it all without complaint despite almost constant losing and change in Cleveland.
Jackson’s run ended Wednesday. The Browns released the veteran linebacker, cutting ties with one of their most popular players due a $4.1 million roster bonus next month.
The 31-year-old Jackson, who made 96 starts in eight seasons with the Browns, is now a free agent and can sign with any team. Jackson’s agents and Cleveland’s revamped front office tried to restructure his contract, but couldn’t come to terms and decided to part ways.
‘‘We had positive discussion with D’Qwell and his agent over the last several days, and we came to the mutual agreement to go in different directions,’’ said Browns general manager Ray Farmer, who was promoted into that role last month and had to make a tough decision on Jackson. ‘‘
Jackson signed a five-year, $42.5 million extension last year through 2016. The deal, which included $19 million in guarantees and bonuses, would have paid Jackson $3.93 million this season. He was set to make $7.73 million and $7 million the next two seasons.
Eagles re-sign Peters
All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters agreed to a four-year contract extension with the Eagles.
Peters was signed for 2014, and his new deal adds four years through 2018. Peters was set to earn just under $10 million in 2014 and the extension is $41.3 million, with the $19.5 million guaranteed.
‘‘They didn’t want to risk losing me and I didn’t want to go anywhere, and I let them know that,’’ Peters said. ‘‘I want to retire here. I love this organization. I love Philly.’’
Peters, 32, is a six-time Pro Bowl pick and two-time All-Pro. Peters missed the entire 2012 season after twice rupturing an Achilles tendon, but he returned to anchor an offensive line that helped the Eagles lead the NFL in rushing. All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy ran for a franchise-best 1,607 yards, and Pro Bowl quarterback Nick Foles had a breakout year behind Peters and Co.
The Eagles are also close to re-signing receiver Riley Cooper to a multi-year deal, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Cooper had career highs of 47 catches for 835 yards and eight TDs in 2013. The Inquirer also reported that fellow free agent receiver Jeremy Maclin, who missed the season because of a knee injury, will sign a one-year contract.
One longtime Carolina Panther called it quits, while another may be headed out the door behind him. Offensive tackle Jordan Gross, who started a franchise-record 167 games during 11 seasons with the Panthers, officially retired at a news conference at the stadium. Afterward, coach Ron Rivera was non-committal on whether star wide receiver Steve Smith will be back with the team next season. Rivera said the Panthers need to clear salary cap room and said free agency may determine what happens with Smith, the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions and touchdowns. He is under contract through 2016 but is set to cost $7 million under the cap in 2014 . . . The Falcons will cut veteran safety Thomas DeCoud, saving $3 million against the salary cap, according to Yahoo! Sports.