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Report: Colts are "likely landing spot" for Courtney Upshaw

According to the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec, the Colts are the "likely landing spot" for outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Today the Indianapolis Colts have restructured the contract of one of their outside linebackers (Trent Cole) and released another (Bjoern Werner), but it's likely that they will look to further address the position this offseason - whether through free agency or through the draft.

One option may be Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw.  According to the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec, the Colts are the "likely landing spot" for Upshaw, though nothing is for sure yet.

In other words, Zrebiec is hearing that Upshaw is likely heading to Indianapolis but there's no deal in place yet (if there's even talks taking place yet), so it's still not certain.  The 26-year old was drafted by the Ravens in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Alabama and has played in 64 games in four years with the Ravens, starting 51 of them.  He has recorded 183 tackles, five sacks, seven passes defensed, and three forced fumbles.

It would be a somewhat strange move by a Colts team needing pass rush help, as Upshaw hasn't shown much in the way of rushing the passer.  If the Colts are truly pursuing Upshaw and if they sign him, it likely would be to take Erik Walden's place as the strongside outside linebacker.  Baltimore Beatdown said that Upshaw is a "consistent but unspectacular player" who can set the edge well but who can't really help a pass rush. They said elsewhere that Upshaw was solid and producing more than his numbers showed in his first three seasons but that his 2015 season was a disaster.  If the Colts wind up signing Upshaw, then, it's probably not good news for Erik Walden.

Upshaw never played for Chuck Pagano in Baltimore, but he knows the system, which could be a reason why the Colts are interested in him (if indeed they are).  The biggest reason, however, could be that new Colts defensive coordinator Ted Monachino was the linebackers coach for the Ravens, meaning he worked very closely with Upshaw over the past few seasons.  Monachino might want to bring in one of his own guys to help the Colts and to continue developing.  At the same time, however, it would be a strange move that would seem out of place for a team desperately lacking in pass rush help.