The Indianapolis Colts this morning announced a minor roster move, as they signed defensive lineman Camaron Beard and waived cornerback Al-Hajj Shabazz. With the corresponding roster moves their roster remains at 90 players.
Beard (6-5, 290 pounds) was an undrafted defensive lineman out of Cincinnati (and a product of Cathedral High School in Indianapolis), and he was invited to Colts rookie mini-camp on a tryout basis. It took several weeks, but apparently Beard was impressive enough in minicamp to earn a spot on the offseason roster. At Cincinnati, he played in 41 career games and recorded 75 tackles (8.5 for loss), two sacks, one pass defensed, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. In 2014, Beard impressed by notching 37 tackles (two for loss) and a sack.
Shabazz was one of the early undrafted free agent signings by the Colts, as they agreed to terms with him shortly after the draft concluded. He also participated in rookie mini-camp and has participated in the offseason work as well, but today the Colts waived him in order to make room for Beard. Shabazz played collegiately at West Chester, where he played in 47 games and recorded 151 tackles, 32 passes defensed, and nine picks.
The signing of Beard adds depth to the defensive line, and while he's unlikely to make the 53-man roster, adding a young player to compete during the offseason and in training camp isn't a bad idea at a position at which you could use help. With that said, however, it would seem that the Colts have more room to develop a young, undrafted free agent at cornerback than along the defensive line, so this move likely speaks to how much the team likes Beard and was impressed by him during rookie mini-camp - even if the signing comes a few weeks later. The Colts figure to start Arthur Jones, Josh Chapman, and Kendall Langford along the defensive line, with guys like Henry Anderson, David Parry, Montori Hughes, and Zach Kerr providing solid depth. Camaron Beard is a local product who had a solid collegiate career, but he seems like a long shot to make the Colts' 53-man roster.