Browns release veteran linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, who was owed $4.1 million roster bonus

The Browns have released veteran linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, cutting ties with one of their most popular players.

Jackson made 96 starts in eight seasons with the Browns, who drafted him in 2006. Jackson was due a $4.1 million roster bonus next month, and the team tried to work out a deal with him and his agent, but general manager Ray Farmer said the sides made a mutual agreement "to go in different directions."

The 31-year-old Jackson, who overcame two serious chest injuries earlier in his NFL career, was an asset on the field and in the community. In a statement released by the team, Jackson thanked Browns fans "for opening your arms and hearts to my family and me, and for making Cleveland an easy place to love and call home. It's been an honor playing in front of you."