The Indianapolis Colts have beefed up their protection of quarterback Andrew Luck, agreeing to terms on a contract with free-agent offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Cherilus was a 2008 first-round pick (No. 17 overall) out of Boston College by the Detroit Lions, where he started 71 of 75 games at right tackle over the last five seasons. Cherilus will replace Winston Justice at right tackle and will play opposite 2011 first-round pick Anthony Castonzo, another B.C. alum, on a line that allowed 41 sacks in 2012.
The Colts have also signed veteran guard Donald Thomas, a journeyman who has started eight games for the New England Patriots over the last two seasons.
According to Football Outsiders' advanced metrics, the Colts offensive line ranked 18th in "Adjusted Sack Rate," which measures sacks (plus intentional grounding penalties) per pass attempt adjusted for down, distance and opponent.
In addition to Cherilus and Thomas, Colts owner Jim Irsay announced that the team had reached agreement with outside linebacker Erik Walden, who spent the last two-plus seasons with the Green Bay Packers, and cornerback Greg Toler, a 2009 fourth-round pick by the Arizona Cardinals.
Walden has nine sacks in 40 games for the Packers over the last three seasons and provides depth at the Colts' outside linebacker position. Toler missed the 2011 season with a torn ACL before returning to post two interceptions in 11 games with the Cardinals last season.
The team has also reached agreement with free agent Lawrence Sidbury, a 2009 fourth-round pick by the Atlanta Falcons who has five sacks in four seasons as a defensive end. The 6-foot-2, 266-pound Sidbury will play outside linebacker.