Glad to be a Niner!! Going to the Bay!!!— Antoine Bethea (@Tweez41) March 11, 2014
Good for Bethea to get such a deal, but it's clear that the Colts weren't going to compete with a 4-year, $26 million deal for the 29-year old safety. The Colts had really wanted to keep Bethea, but seeing the deal he got, it was a wise move to let him walk, no matter how hard it might be. And I'm glad that Bethea got paid, as he's a great guy and a good player.
He was drafted by the Colts in 2006 and spent the past eight seasons in Indianapolis. He hasn't missed a single game in over six seasons and has notched 100 or more tackles in each of the past four seasons and in five of the past six. For his career, he has 806 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 46 passes defensed, 14 interceptions, and 5 forced fumbles. In 2013, he totaled 110 tackles, 1.0 sack, 6 passes defensed, and 2 interceptions. Bethea was a team leader and a great guy in the Colts locker room, and the 49ers are getting a good one.
As hard as it is to say good bye to a guy who has been playing safety and playing well for the Colts for the past eight seasons, Bethea's play had dropped off a bit in the past two years and he was no longer worth paying the $6.5 million average that he got from the 49ers. I'm glad for Bethea, but I'm also glad that the Colts didn't pay that kind of money to keep him.
What this does mean for the Colts, however, is that they are now in major need of help in the secondary. With the status of cornerback Vontae Davis up in the air and now having lost Bethea, there is a real chance that the Colts will be without two of their four starters in the secondary from 2013, and the two best at that. There is a big hole at safety now, and there very well might be a big hole at corner too. The Colts need to add help at both spots. One quick note about the Colts and safeties is that the Colts don't make much of a distinction between the free safety and strong safety spots - just a quick note, not that it means much.
Congrats to Antoine Bethea on the deal, but it's hard to see him go. Even then, it was a smart move for the Colts to not pay him that type of money, and Bethea goes to another contender. This one could end up being a win/win - very largely depending on what the Colts do to replace him.
Indy it's been real... Fans and city showed me nothing but love my eight years there and greeted me w/ open arms Appreciate all the support!— Antoine Bethea (@Tweez41) March 11, 2014