If the Browns are unable to secure a multi-year deal with D’Qwell Jackson, they will use the franchise tag on the middle linebacker, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports.
Pectoral injuries limited Jackson to six games over the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Re-signed to a one-year, $3.8 million contract last March, Jackson led the Browns with 158 tackles in 2011, adding 3.5 quarterback sacks and an interception.
The franchise tag for a linebacker is projected to be worth around $8.8 million in fully guaranteed base salary 2012.
“We’re looking for a long-term deal and that’s what both parties would like to accomplish before free agency starts on March 13,” said Brian Mackler, Jackson’s agent.
NFL teams have between February 20th and March 15th to use the franchise tag.