The Patriots traded for Jabaal Sheard’s replacement on Friday, swinging a deal for Panthers defensive end Kony Ealy. About an hour later, Sheard found his new home, signing a three-year deal with Indianapolis, a league source confirmed to the Globe.
The deal is reportedly worth $25 million, with $10 million in the first year.
Sheard, who turns 28 in May, played in 28 games in two years with the Patriots, collecting 13 sacks and four forced fumbles. A second-round pick for the Browns in 2011, Sheard signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the Patriots before the 2015 season.
Sheard had a great first season in New England, collecting eight sacks as the team’s most consistent pass rusher. But he struggled with consistency in 2016, becoming a part-time rotational player who played in 55 percent of snaps while sharing time with Trey Flowers, Rob Ninkovich, Chris Long, and Shea McClellin.
Sheard drew the ire of the Patriots’ coaching staff by freelancing too much, and was left home from the team’s game in San Francisco, costing him a $62,500 roster bonus and souring his relationship with the team, per league sources.
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