John Michael Vincent (aka JMV) for Indianapolis radio station 1070 The Fan tweeted me that he was going to have Melvin Bullitt on his show that afternoon. I suggested JMV ask Melvin about his comments made more than three months ago:
"I can't see myself coming back (to the Colts) other than with a long-term contract," said Bullitt. "Just to be quite honest, it's business."
Thankfully, JMV did ask Melvin about those comments, and he also brought up Melvin's much more recent statements, suggesting he plans to re-sign with Indy.
Melvin's answer to JMV did not make me feel very good about his prospects of returning:
JMV: I know in talking with you basically when all this [lockout] got underway, you were somewhat apprehensive in your belief that you were going to be back. Has that feeling changed at all?
Bullitt: Um, I don't know. I feel like it's truly 50-50. Like I said before, I never changed my stance on it. I want to be in Indianapolis, but, it's going to be unrealistic for me to come back unless I have a long term deal.
I'll say this right now: Melvin Bullitt is not getting a long term deal with the Colts. It's just simply not going to happen. Ergo, if we believe his statements, he isn't coming back in 2011.
Bullitt went on in the interview to question the Colts' desire to keep him. Now, I can understand Bullitt wanting to get some kind of financial security should be become a free agent when the new CBA is signed. He's played four years, and he's done more for this franchise in that time than Bob Sanders did (and he was paid pennies for doing so when compared to what the Colts gave Sanders). And I'm sure, in Bullitt's mind, if Bill Polian was willing to give the injury prone Sanders $20 million in guaranteed money despite playing only 37 games in four years when he signed that deal in 2008, surely he can give Melvin (who has played in 48 games in four years) some love.
The reality is the Colts don't value Bullitt the way they valued Sanders. Whether that determination is correct or not is debatable. Sanders was clearly overvalued, and the only reason Bill Polian did not look even more stupid for giving Sanders that contract is the play of Melvin Bullitt. We all saw what this defense looked like last year when Bullitt was out and Aaron Francisco was in.
Meanwhile, with Sanders (frequently) out and Bullitt spelling for him, the Colts defense worked just fine. It almost won a Super Bowl without Bob, which should tell you all you need to know about his overvalued worth.
Now, back to Bullitt's interview with JMV, one part in particular that jumped out at me was Bullitt strongly suggesting that other teams are, in fact, ready to offer him a long term deal when the CBA is signed. When JMV asked him if it was tough to look at the desire for wanting a new, long term deal purely from a football standpoint, Bullitt answered:
It is. Especially when you know there are other teams out there that are ready to give you a long term deal, that are ready to negotiate a contract with you. I talked to my agent. We know there are a good amount of teams that would enjoy my services. There's a lot of other safeties out there the Colts might have their eye on.
Now, either Bullitt is blowing smoke here, saying that other teams want to sign him long term, or he does in fact have some feelers from other teams.
Based on Bullitt's tone during the interview, and his continued instance that he wants a long term deal, I'm thinking his days as a Colts safety are over. Either Indy will sign a free agent like Quintin Mikell, or we will be forced to watched another season of Aaron Francisco (or the like) in the defensive backfield.
You can download the Bullitt interview here.