Colts agree to terms with former New England Patriots linebacker Jabaal Sheard


Jabaal Sheard (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The overhaul of the Indianapolis Colts’ linebacker corps isn’t complete, but is well underway.

The team has agreed to terms with former New England Patriots linebacker Jabaal Sheard on a three-year, $25.5 million contract, according to ESPN. The deal reportedly includes $12.75 million in guarantees.

Sheard met with the Colts Friday after visiting with the Miami Dolphins.

“Jabaal brings a wealth of experience and a 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 rush 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.’’

The addition of Sheard follows the recent acquisitions of John Simon and Barkevious Mingo, and compensates for the losses of Robert Mathis (retired), D’Qwell Jackson (cut), Erik Walden (not re-signed) and Trent Cole (not re-signed).

Coach Chuck Pagano praised Sheard as “a tough football player who can help set the edge against the run and get after the quarterback. He will be a good addition and I look forward to seeing him contribute to our team.’’

The 6-3, 265-pound Sheard was a second-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2011. He spent four seasons with the Browns before being with the New England Patriots the last two years.

In New England, Sheard started nine of 28 regular-season games and generated 13 sacks. He has 36 career sacks in 89 games and has had at least 5 in five of his six seasons.

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