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Colts place first round tender on Antoine Bethea

Antoine Bethea is a restricted free agent, but the dude isn't gong anywhere. Today, the Colts placed a first round tender on the fifth year free safety, meaning that any team that signs him to an offer sheet has to surrender a first round pick. The Colts have six days to match any offer a team gives Bethea.

Bethea was a sixth round draft pick in 2006, and is arguably one of the best safeties in the AFC. He may not get the publicity of a Troy Polamalu, but his impact on the field is just as great. Bethea has also been the most durable and consistent DB on the Colts. While players like Bob Sanders, Kelvin Hayden, and Marlin Jackson have missed significant time in recent years because of various injuries, Bethea continues to start game after game, producing Pro Bowl caliber numbers.

Since Bethea replaced Mike Doss as the starting safety in 2006, the Colts pass defense has been one of the best in all of football. In 2008, they set an NFL record for fewest touchdowns passes allowed.