Jackson, Browns have 'positive' talks on multi-year contract

With the Cleveland Browns reportedly set to apply the franchise tag to D'Qwell Jackson, the linebacker's agent told The Plain Dealer that he had a "very positive meeting" with the team about a multi-year contract Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

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"We're working really hard on this and hopefully we can get something done," Brian Mackler told the newspaper after his meeting with Browns chief negotiator Matt Thomas.

Both sides have until March 5 to reach a deal. If not, the Browns will franchise Jackson, The Plain Dealer said, citing a source. The newspaper also said Jackson is pursuing a five-year deal.

"After the season was over, D'Qwell and I met and he instructed me to do everything in my power to get a long-term deal done with the Browns," Mackler told the Plain Dealer. "He wants to retire as a Cleveland Brown and likes the direction the team is going in. He thinks (coach) Pat Shurmur and (defensive coordinator) Dick Jauron are tremendous."

The 2012 franchise salary for linebackers is expected to be about $8.8 million. The newspaper said Jackson earned $4.6 million last season in an incentive-based deal after tearing his pectoral muscles in 2009 and 2010 and missing 26 games.

If the Browns and Jackson reach a deal, the team might apply the franchise tag to another player, with The Plain Dealer saying kicker Phil Dawson and running back Peyton Hillis are possible targets. Dawson was given the franchise tag last season.

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