INDIANAPOLIS – Shortly after losing one linebacker to free agency, the Indianapolis Colts kept another from hitting the market.

The team has signed E.J. Speed to a two-year, $8 million contract, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed. The deal was first reported by Jordan Schultz.

The Colts retained Speed after losing veteran Bobby Okereke, who agreed to a four-year, $40 million free-agent deal with the New York Giants.

Speed is a 2019 fifth-round pick who has been a key special teams player while gradually getting more exposure on defense. He has appeared in 61 games with six starts, and five of the starts came in 2022.

With All-Pro Shaq Leonard missing most of the season with back issues, Speed was on the field for a career-high 314 defensive snaps after handling a total of 180 in his first three seasons. He responded with a career-best 55 tackles, including 32 solos.

On special teams, Speed has 31 tackles while blocking one punt and returning two blocked punts for touchdowns.

You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.