Report: Browns hope to sign LB Jackson to long-term contract

The Cleveland Browns have plenty of questions about their long-term future, but the team might have found an answer at one position.

The Browns are interested in locking in linebacker D'Qwell Jackson to a new long-term contract before he becomes a free agent this offseason, a league source told The Plain Dealer. Browns officials have yet to engage Jackson in negotiations.

"I'm sure they're going to wait to see how they finish the season," the source told the newspaper.

Jackson has become the centerpiece of the Browns' defense, boasting a team-high 91 tackles. Though the Browns stand at 4-6 entering Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the team's defense ranks fifth in yards and seventh in points per game.

Jackson sat out the 2010 season and all but six games of 2009 with torn pectoral muscles. The source told The Plain Dealer that the Browns were not concerned about the injuries resurfacing.

The Browns had been interested in negotiating a new deal with running back Peyton Hillis, but injuries and various conflicts have reportedly derailed talks.

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