Getting a bump in base salary for future years may seem like a reason for an NFL player to celebrate, but for D'Qwell Jackson, it might just end up being a dagger that increases his likelihood of getting released.
There have already been questions as to whether the Browns will keep Jackson for next season because of how much money he is set to make. Jackson was originally set to count for $8.1 million against the salary cap in 2014, a figure that included a base salary of $2.6 million, a $1.4 million signing bonus, and a $4.1 million roster bonus. According to Brian McIntyre, an NFL reporter who has done salary cap reporting for years, Jackson increased his base salary for 2014 by remaining healthy:
Staying healthy has paid off for Browns LB D'Qwell Jackson. No missed games over 2012-13 increased base salary from $2.6M to $3.933M.— Brian McIntyre (@brian_mcintyre) January 15, 2014
The $1.333 million increase in base salary brings Jackson's salary cap total to $9.43 million for 2014. We'll know by some time in March whether the Browns plan on retaining Jackson or not, since that is when his $4.1 million roster bonus is due.
McIntyre also noted that Jackson's base salary for 2015-2016 also increased by $1.333 million in each season, meaning he'd be more expensive to keep down the road. With Jackson entering his ninth year, the Browns might opt to part ways with Jackson, especially if it allows them more flexibility to re-sign a guy like S T.J. Ward or C Alex Mack.