The Colts will add some pass-rushing depth, bringing in veteran Genard Avery. The team announced the signing, which will send the sixth-year defender to a fourth team.
Avery, who played last season as a Buccaneers backup, will attempt to catch on in Indianapolis after spending 2022 with two teams. The Steelers signed him in March 2022 but moved on before cutdown day in August, leading to the Bucs taking a flier. Tampa Bay did not re-sign Avery this offseason. In a corresponding move, Indianapolis waived running back Darius Hagans.
A former Browns fifth-round pick, Avery has played both on the edge and as an off-ball linebacker. The Eagles used the 2018 fifth-round pick in the latter capacity in 2021, running him out as a 12-game starter. The Memphis product played 358 defensive snaps that season, making 43 tackles (four for loss) and registering a sack. Pro Football Focus ranked Avery 56th among regular linebackers in ’21.
In 2022, the Bucs reduced Avery’s workload (72 defensive snaps) but deployed him as a regular special-teamer. In just nine games, Avery logged 164 ST snaps. He finished last season on IR due to an abdominal injury. Avery, 28, picked up 4.5 of his career 8.5 sacks during his 2018 rookie year in Cleveland. During their Freddie Kitchens season, the Browns traded him to the Eagles.
Indianapolis has not re-signed Gus Bradley favorite Yannick Ngakoue, who led the team with 9.5 sacks last season. Ngakoue resides as one of the top free agents still available, but the Colts — as of now, at least — are prepared to give their young pass rushers more run. Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo are heading into their third seasons. Free agent acquisition Samson Ebukam, who worked as one of Nick Bosa‘s 49ers sidekicks last year, brings a cheaper veteran presence compared to Ngakoue. Avery will attempt to join this rotation.