The Indianapolis Colts today signed unrestricted free agent outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard.
“Jabaal brings a wealth of experience and veteran leadership to our locker room,” said Colts General Manager Chris Ballard. “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.”
Sheard, 6-3, 265 pounds, is a six-year NFL veteran who spent two seasons with the New England Patriots (2015-16) and four years with the Cleveland Browns (2011-14). He was a member of New England’s Super Bowl LI championship team last season. Sheard has competed in 89 career games (59 starts) and has totaled 260 tackles (170 solo), 36.0 sacks, 43.0 tackles for loss, 18 passes defensed, 11 forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He has also participated in five postseason games, totaling 16 tackles (nine solo), half a sack and 1.0 tackle for loss.
“Jabaal is a tough football player who can help set the edge against the run and get after the quarterback,” said Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano. “He will be a good addition and I look forward to seeing him contribute to our team.”
In 2016, Sheard saw action in 15 games (eight starts) and finished with 33 tackles (20 solo), 5.0 sacks, 7.0 tackles for loss and four passes defensed. He recorded half a sack in Super Bowl LI in addition to two tackles. Sheard played in 13 games and recorded 37 tackles, 8.0 sacks, two passes defensed and four forced fumbles in 2015. During his final year in Cleveland (2014), he posted 44 tackles, 2.0 sacks and three passes defensed in 16 games. In 2013, Sheard competed in 13 contests and tallied 35 tackles, 5.5 sacks, four passes defensed and one fumble recovery. He was nominated by the Browns as the team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year that season. In 2012, Sheard started all 16 games for the second time in his career and tied his career-high with 55 tackles while adding 7.0 sacks, three passes defensed and one forced fumble. In his rookie season with Cleveland (2011), he started all 16 games and set a career-high with 8.5 sacks while adding 55 tackles, two passes defensed, five forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Sheard’s tackle and sack total both ranked third among all NFL rookies as he was named to the PFW/PFWA All-Rookie team.
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