Bills and Colts swap linebackers

Former Indianapolis first-round pick Jerry Hughes has been dealt to the Bills. (USATSI)

The Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts agreed to a trade Monday with linebackers Kelvin Sheppard and Jerry Hughes trading places.

It's rare that two teams would trade young players at the same position, but the move makes sense for both clubs. 

Hughes, a former first-round pick of the Colts, will join a Buffalo defense in the process of switching to a 3-4 alignment under new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. More of an edge-rusher than a linebacker, Hughes had five sacks in three seasons with Indy.

“We wish nothing but the best for Jerry in Buffalo,” Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said. “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.”

Sheppard, a third-round pick of the Bills in 2011, started 24 of 32 games for the Bills, compiling 150 tackles in two seasons. He'll fit in better with the Colts as an inside linebacker while also opening up space for second-round pick Kiko Alonso in Buffalo.

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