The Indianapolis Colts traded former 1st-round pick to the Buffalo Bills for 2011 3rd-round pick Kelvin Sheppard, per a team release this afternoon. Hughes, drafted in the 1st round of the 2010 draft, will be remembered by Colts fans for failing to live up to expectations.
The Colts drafted Hughes in hopes of being able to use him to sustain their vital pass rush when then starters DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis needed a breather or were out due to injuries. After the firing of GM Bill Polian and HC Jim Caldwell, there was renewed hope that Hughes might thrive under the new 3-4 scheme of HC Chuck Pagano. Though advanced stats suggested Hughes was performing better than his numbers indicated, in the end, it just wasn't enough. Hughes leaves the Colts have amassed only 62 tackles and 5.0 sacks in his 3-year career.
In exchange for Hughes, the Colts received former LSU LB Kelvin Sheppard. Though both players are listed as LBers, it won't be a straight position-for-position swap, as Sheppard is an ILB and will provide depth behind the trio of Kavell Conner, Jerrell Freeman, and Pat Angerer. Sheppard has 150 tackles and 2.0 sacks in his 2-year career.
Here is what GM Ryan Grigson had to say about the trade,
“We wish nothing but the best for Jerry in Buffalo,” said General Manager Ryan Grigson. “He’s a talented guy that did everything we asked of him. At the same time, we are very pleased to be getting a young linebacker who has been a productive starter in this league.”