INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts will be searching for a new defensive signal caller this offseason.
On Thursday, the Colts released veteran inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, in Chris Ballard's first move as the team's new general manager.
Jackson, 33, was a three-year starter for the Colts, the team's leading tackler and signal caller.
"D'Qwell is a consummate professional," Chuck Pagano said in a team release. "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."
It was a difficult end in Indianapolis for Jackson. After starting his first 44 games with the Colts, Jackson was suspended for the final four weeks of the 2016 season due to performance enhancing drugs.
With Jackson gone for the final month of 2016, the Colts turned to youngsters Edwin Jackson and Antonio Morrison in the starting lineup at inside linebacker.
Those two are still under contract, but the need to upgrade the inside linebacker position group is there for the Colts this offseason.
The Colts signed D'Qwell Jackson to an original four-year deal back in the 2014 offseason. Jackson, a 2006 second-round pick, spent the first eight seasons of his career in Cleveland.
This move opens up some extra cap space for the Colts. Going into the final season of a four-year contract, Jackson was due a base salary of $5 million in 2017.
Free agency will begin a month from today begin around the NFL (March 9).
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