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IndyStar | The Indianapolis Star

Colts sign former 49ers edge rusher Samson Ebukam: source

By Nate Atkins and Joel A. Erickson, Indianapolis Star,


The Colts have made a move to fortify their pass rush.

Indianapolis is signing former 49ers edge rusher Samson Ebukam to a three-year deal for up to $27 million, including more than $11 million in the first season, a source confirmed to the Indy Star. ESPN first reported the deal.

Ebukam, 27, is on his third team after stints with the Rams and 49ers, where he played in 12 total playoff games. The 2017 fourth-round pick out of East Washington has become a model of consistency, with between 4.5 and 5 sacks in each of the past four seasons.

He ramped the efficiency up last season by generating a 14.8% pressure rate, good for seventh-best in the NFL for any player with at least 300 pass-rush snaps, according to NextGen Stats. He did get to play opposite Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa, who led the league with 18.5 sacks despite drawing regular attention.

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At 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds, Ebukam has hovered between 35% and 59% of the defensive snaps the past four seasons. He specializes in passing downs and figures to take Yannick Ngakoue's role as the LEO edge rusher in Gus Bradley's Seattle-style scheme. San Francisco has operated a similar scheme in recent years to the one Bradley runs.

Ngakoue had 9.5 sacks in this role last year. He's a free agent and has yet to be signed. With Kwity Paye, Dayo Odeyingbo and Tyquan Lewis back at the position, plus Ebukam, the role for Ngakoue might have already disappeared.

Ebukam is just the second outside free agent signing for the Colts so far this week, joining Pro Bowler Matt Gay's record deal for a kicker. Indianapolis has re-signed Lewis as well as linebacker E.J. Speed. The Colts released quarterback Matt Ryan and traded cornerback Stephon Gilmore to the Cowboys to create an additional $27 million in cap space for 2023.

Contact Colts insider Nate Atkins at Follow him on Twitter @NateAtkins_.

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