SEWARD SIGNS

The Colts have signed free agent linebacker Adam Seward, who spent his first four NFL seasons with the Carolina Panthers. The club also on Tuesday morning announced it has released reserve running back Clifton Dawson.

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Colts Sign Former Carolina Linebacker Adam Seward
INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts got a little deeper at the linebacker position on Tuesday morning.

They got a lot more experienced, too.

Adam Seward, a four-year NFL veteran who spent his first four NFL seasons with the Carolina Panthers, has signed with the Colts, the club announced Tuesday morning.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Seward (6-feet-3, 250 pounds), a fifth-round selection in the 2005 NFL Draft from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, started two games and played in 40 in four seasons with Carolina, registering 20 tackles, 29 special teams tackles and a fumble recovery. He played in nine games this past season.

Seward, who played all three linebacker positions in college, played almost exclusively on special teams this past season, finishing the season with five tackles and a fumble recovery on the unit. He had 14 tackles on defense and 10 on special teams in 2006.

He played all 16 games that season, starting twice.

The Colts before signing Seward had three linebackers on the roster with NFL starting experience: middle linebacker and defensive captain Gary Brackett, outside linebacker Clint Session and middle linebacker Buster Davis, who started three games in place of Brackett this past season.

Brackett has been a starter since 2005, and Session – who will enter his third NFL season next season – moved into the starting lineup this past season. The Colts also selected linebacker Philip Wheeler in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He played mostly special teams this past season, finishing third on the team with 14 tackles on the units. Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell said recently he will compete for a starting role this season.

The Colts in late February allowed two linebackers with starting experience to become free agents: fourth-year veteran Freddy Keiaho and Tyjuan Hagler. Keiaho started the past two seasons, but the club did extend him a tender offer in February, making him a free agent.

Hagler started 10 games the past two seasons and became an unrestricted free agent in late February.

Colts President Bill Polian said last week a return has not been ruled out for Keiaho, and because Keiaho and Hagler are free agents, they can sign with any NFL team, including the Colts.

In other Colts news, the team announced Tuesday it has waived running back Clifton Dawson.

Dawson played in 13 games in two seasons with the Colts, rushing for 64 yards and one touchdown on 30 carries. He also played in two games with Cincinnati in 2007.

The Colts now have four running backs on the roster: starter Joseph Addai and three second-year veterans – Chad Simpson, Lance Ball and Mike Hart.

Backup running back Dominic Rhodes became an unrestricted free agent in February and Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell said recently Rhodes still could return.

Addai, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his first two NFL seasons, rushed for 544 yards and five touchdowns in 12 games this past season. Hart, a sixth-round selection in the 2008 NFL Draft, played well early last season before sustaining a season-ending knee injury. Colts President Bill Polian said at the recent NFL Scouting Combine he expects Hart to return next season.

Chad Simpson, who signed as a free agent shortly after the 2008 NFL Draft, spent the final 11 regular-season games on the roster, rushing for 45 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries. He also returned 15 kickoffs for a 22.9-yard average.

Ball, who spent time on the practice squads of the St. Louis Rams and Colts last season, rushed for 83 yards on 13 carries in the Colts' 23-0 victory over Tennessee in the regular-season finale.

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