One of the bigger questions for the Browns, aside from the Peyton Hillis situation, has been contract talks between Cleveland and linebacker D'Qwell Jackson. The 28-year-old had a resurgence in the 2011 season, returning from torn pectoral muscles to record 158 tackles.
Jackson's contract status was a frequent topic of conversation, but the Cleveland front office continually assured that it would be worked out. General Manager Tom Heckert has wanted to extend the former 34th overall pick's contract for awhile, but was unable to do so during the season.
It is now being reported that Jackson will be given the Franchise Tag if a multi-year deal is not worked out. It is pretty clear that the sixth-year player is a top priority for the Browns, and that they are looking to keep him on the roster for not just next year, but beyond.
The Browns have until March 5 to decide which player to Franchise. Free agency starts on March 13.