NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that the team signed versatile linebacker Jabaal Sheard to a two-year contract worth $11 million with $5.5 million guaranteed, per a source who has seen the deal.
The 25-year-old pass rusher accumulated 23 sacks over his four-year career with the Cleveland Browns, but saw his role reduced the past two seasons. In 2014 he started just five games and saw only 690 snaps. After accumulating 15.5 sacks in his first two seasons combined, he earned just two last year.
Sheard's versatility is something that Bill Belichick craves. The 2011 second-round pick was someone the Pats eyed in the draft, per Rapoport.
Expect to see Sheard utilized in a lot of the Patriots' "sub packages" in 2015, in which the Pats played the majority of their defensive snaps last season.