Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, the undisputed leader of the Browns and most beloved player on the team, said Wednesday that he was "more than willing to restructure'' his contract to remain with the Browns, but that the two sides couldn't agree on the number.

"My agent Brian Mackler and I made the decision that if I was going to take that offer I'd go somewhere else where there's a little bit more stability and a situation that's a little bit better for me,'' Jackson said in an exclusive interview with Northeast Ohio Media Group. "I told (GM) Ray Farmer I think I've been a strong soldier for eight years and I just felt like -- we both did -- we couldn't come up with a number and we both felt like it was better for both sides just to move on.''

Jackson stressed that it's bittersweet, "but at this point in my career, I gave Cleveland everything I had. This time around I have a chance to choose where I want to go. I've saved my money and it's time for me to experience something different. I hate to say it, but I think it was necessary.''

He added, "there was a time when I thought I was out of the league three years ago. The good thing about this situation is I had a good year, I'm healthy and that's all I can ask for. I know I have job.''

Jackson, 30, was released on Wednesday instead of the Browns paying him the $4.0 million roster bonus due March 16 and a $100,000 workout bonus. Jackson, who signed a five-year contract extension two years ago through 2016 worth $42.5 million -- including $19 million in guarantees and bonuses, was due to make $3.93 million this season.

His salaries for 2015 and 2016 were $7.73 million and $7 million, respectively. The Browns will have $4.2 million in dead money on the books for him this year. If he had stayed, his cap number would've been $9.43 million.

"I definitely would've stayed if they would've payed the $4.0 million bonus,'' Jackson said. "I want to be around when Cleveland turns the corner. My feeling was always that 'this year is going to be the year.' There wouldn't have been any doubt in my mind that I wanted to be in Cleveland.''

The longest tenured member of the Browns at eight seasons, Jackson is currently a free agent and can sign with any team. His agent was already fielding calls from numerous teams within minutes after Jackson's release and he's expected to begin making visits on Friday.

"I'm willing to go to 31 other teams at this point,'' Jackson said. "Obviously I'm looking for a place that has some type of stability, someplace that a guy that's been around and you know he's not going to be out in two years. I don't have a crystal ball or anything but ideally that's going to probably have a lot of weight in determining my decision in where I go.''

Mackler said the issue with Jackson was that "we needed a commitment from the Browns that D'Qwell was going to be with the Browns for the next two to three years. They couldn't provide that, so we decided to have a mutual split.''

Mackler said he's never seen anything like the outpouring of support for Jackson from all over the league.