The Colts have traded outside linebacker Caesar Rayford to the Dallas Cowboys for a conditional draft pick. Rayford played his way on to the roster and into the hearts of Colts fans with five sacks in the preseason (and a sixth that was called back on a penalty).
From the team’s announcement:
The Indianapolis Colts today traded linebacker Caesar Rayford to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for a conditional draft pick.
Rayford was originally signed by the Colts as a free agent on May 23, 2013. In the 2013 preseason, he played in four games and totaled 11 tackles (seven solo), 5.0 sacks and two forced fumbles.
According to Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star, the pick will come in…2015. The team appears to be very pleased with their acquisition of linebacker Cam Johnson from the 49ers, and fans, it appears, will have at least a couple seasons to compare the two before the yet to be determined draft pick is awarded to Indy.
Rayford showed a rare talent for getting into the backfield against backups as well as first team offenses (though he had at least one mishap in the open field). His reach, tenacity, and strength should come in very handy for the Cowboys.
Please try not to punch your keyboards or monitors. This may not be a very well-received move in the short term (that includes me – I’ve been on the Rayford hype train and am concerned about the lack of pass rushers on the team outside of Robert Mathis, and hopefully Bjoern Werner), but we will have to wait and see how it plays out. Also remember that Rayford may be a better fit as a 4-3 defensive end and could have wound up spinning his wheels here trying to play outside linebacker. Best of luck to him in Dallas.
In other roster moves, the team elevated TE Dominique Jones to the active roster and added 2013 7th round pick Justice Cunningham to the practice squad.