Ryan Delaire will receive another opportunity after being out of football in 2017. The Colts agreed to sign the free agent defensive end, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
To make room for Delaire, the Colts released veteran defensive back Shamarko Thomas, Mike Wells of ESPN.com reports. Interestingly, this move comes two days after Thomas was the NFL’s first player ejected under the new helmet-contact rule.
Delaire spent two years with the Panthers, serving as a rotational defensive end during their 2015 NFC title season and part of the following campaign, before missing the 2017 season. He took multiple visits in the spring, meeting with the Cowboys and Bears, and will land with the Colts.
A knee injury halted the former UDFA’s progress, with a possible late-season signing with the Eagles hijacked by a failed physical last year. He’ll now join former Eagles OC Frank Reich‘s team.
The Colts have added Denico Autry and Chris McCain to their defensive line mix, and they used a second-round pick to bring in Tyquan Lewis. They also have 2017 third-rounder Tarell Basham and one-time Bengals first-rounder Margus Hunt.
Delaire, 26, finished with 2.5 sacks as a rookie for the Super Bowl Panthers team, although he wasn’t active for that game, and Carolina brought him off IR in 2016. The Panthers waived the Division I-FCS product with a failed physical designation in July of last year.
Thomas played four seasons as a Steelers backup before seeing time in 12 games as a Bills reserve in 2017. The 27-year-old former fourth-round pick has sufficient service time to avoid waivers.
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