INDIANAPOLIS – When D’Qwell Jackson went to sleep in the wee hours of Thursday morning, any decision on his future had yet to be made.
A restless night led to an early wake up call and at that point the future became clearer.
The clarity in the town he woke up in made too much sense.
A stable head coach? Check
A proven, young quarterback? Check
A team built for playoff success? Check
When Jackson hit the free market in late February a total of 12 suitors wanted the services of an eight-year veteran who missed just one snap out of 1,150 last season.
Those 12 were narrowed down to four finalists (Denver, Indianapolis, Miami and Tennessee).
There was familiarity in the front office in both Denver and Miami.
Jackson’s defensive coordinator in Cleveland, Ray Horton, is the new d-coordinator with the Titans.
Of course in Indianapolis was Jackson’s head coach from Cleveland in new Colts special assistant Rob Chudzinski.
A Wednesday night dinner with Chuck Pagano helped further prove where Jackson’s ninth NFL season would take place.
“(Jackson) just wanted some stability in the front office, some stability at the quarterback spot and he wanted a chance to win,” Jackson’s agent, Brian Mackler, said to SIRIUS Radio. “He saved every dollar that the Browns had ever given him. It was really about where he was most comfortable.
“It was just a good match for him at this point.”
In Jackson’s eight seasons in Cleveland, he played for seven different defensive coordinators.
He now comes to Indianapolis, a place known for continuity, with his eyes set on the postseason.
Mackler considers Jackson one of the smartest players he has ever represented in 24 years and is anxious to see the next phase of his NFL career begin.
“He’s had a lot of success there on a football level,” Mackler said of Jackson’s days in Cleveland.
“He takes great care of his body. This is all about football for this young man. That’s all he does.”
The suitors for Jackson were certainly stiff and a visit from Peyton Manning only added to the recruitment.
But as the sun rose in Indianapolis on Thursday morning, for what was the nicest day the city has seen all winter, Jackson knew it was time to sign on the dotted line.
“(Jackson) made it very clear to me…he wanted stability at the head coaching spot, stability in the front office and the quarterback spot," Mackler said.
“You aren’t going to find anything better than that in Indy.”