INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts are hoping that
Sheard, a little more than a month removed from wining a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots, has signed a three-year deal with the Colts.
A theme of the 2017 offseason in Indianapolis was to have a virtually new-look outside linebacker group.
That’s where Sheard takes a big step in achieving such a goal.
“Jabaal is a tough football player who can help set the edge against the run and get after the quarterback,” head coach Chuck Pagano said in a team release. “He will be a good addition and I look forward to seeing him contribute to our team.”
Looking at Sheard’s resume, the signing is reminiscent of what the Colts obtained in Erik Walden four years ago.
Sheard, 27, has 36 career sacks, with 13 of those coming in the last two years.
The Patriots signed Sheard in 2015, after he spent the first four seasons of his career with the Cleveland Browns.
In Super Bowl LI, Sheard played 47 percent of the Patriots’ defensive snaps and had a half sack of Matt Ryan.
When the Patriots traded Chandler Jones last September, that move thrusted Sheard into a bigger role.
Per Pro Football Focus, Sheard has ranked as one of the NFL’s most effective edge defenders over the past few seasons.
Sheard, who visited Miami on Thursday (the first day of free agency), has made 59 starts in 89 career games. He was a 2011 second-round draft pick out of Pittsburgh.
One of the main storylines of free agency for the Colts has been Chris Ballard’s revamping of the outside linebacker position.
Sheard is the headliner of that shift, with
“Jabaal brings a wealth of experience and veteran leadership to our locker room,” general manager Chris Ballard said in a team release. “His size and speed are the conduit to his pass rushing ability as he creates matchup difficulties for opponents. Jabaal is equally talented against the run and in pass coverage. His addition provides a good player for our defense and we’re excited to have him as a member of the Colts.”
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