Spence spent the 2016 season in Tennessee under defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, where the linebacker recorded 54 tackles, three sacks, three pass defenses and one forced fumble in 15 games (six starts). Drafted by Pittsburgh in the third round of the 2012 draft, injuries kept Spence on the sideline for the first two seasons of his career before he saw action in 2014 and 2015. Over his three seasons worth of playing, the 26-year-old journeyman has recorded 144 tackles, five sacks and one forced fumble.
Spence spelled veteran inside linebacker Wesley Woodyard in LeBeau's 3-4 scheme, and will have an opportunity to compete for a starting position on a defense that finished 30th in the league in 2016 in total yards allowed per game. Spence's addition makes it six new arrivals on defense for Indianapolis, joining defensive ends Jabaal Sheard and Margus Hunt, linebackers Barkevious Mingo and John Simon, and nose tackle Al Woods.
As did the rest of the football world, Ballard saw his team needed defensive help, and he's signing plenty of it to affordable deals. The new general manager is setting up a training camp that should be more competitive than most, and will hopefully produce a few new defensive stalwarts for the Colts.