Colts sign outside linebacker Caesar Rayford

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One Thursday, the Colts signed one linebacker and waived another.

So why the post about the arrival of Caesar Rayford and the departure of Jake Killeen, two players who have never appeared in an NFL game?

It is a reminder there are various ways to be discovered by pro football’s most prestigious league.

Rayford, 27, has been a defensive end with the Utah Blaze of the Arena Football League the last four seasons, notching 27.5 sacks. The Colts will try the 6-foot-7, 265-pound Washington product at outside linebacker.

The 27-year-old Killeen, meanwhile, is a former Indoor Football League standout whom the Colts signed in January. Like Rayford, the Colts listed him at outside linebacker.

The Colts aren’t the only NFL team to scout the other professional leagues, not by a longshot. But this is a uniquely Colts transaction. General manager Ryan Grigson played and scouted in the Canadian Football League, and he had a stint in the Arena League as a coach and evaluator.

While Rayford certainly is no lock to make the Colts, it’s notable he’s getting a chance. He had just 5.5 sacks in four seasons at Washington, and he is six years removed from college. He had to earn his way onto the NFL’s radar, and then he had to hope someone would notice him on the screen.

The Colts apparently did.