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Report: Darius Butler’s free agent tour continues, but Colts “want him back”

Pittsburgh Steelers v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

It seems that there’s really only one Colts player remaining that the team wants to re-sign still, and that’s defensive back Darius Butler. The Colts have re-signed Jack Doyle and Robert Turbin, let others walk, and seem to still be hoping to re-sign Butler.

That’s according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, who reports that Butler has another round of visits in free agency but noted that the Colts “want him back.” Butler already visited the Bears last weekend, and La Canfora said that Butler’s next round of visits begins with the Redskins today.

This situation still seems quite fluid, as the Colts seem to still be interested in Darius Butler, and for good reason. But it’s likely that Chris Ballard doesn’t want to overpay for Butler, so I’d guess that the Colts are letting Butler test the free agent market to see offers he can get from other teams. That is probably what happened with Robert Turbin too, since he tested the market before signing with the Colts.

Butler would certainly be an important player to bring back for the Colts, however, as he can play both safety and cornerback. Over the past five years in Indianapolis his role has mainly been as a slot cornerback, and he’s excelled there. But last year the Colts also began playing him some at safety, and he more than held his own there too. So he brings position flexibility, a veteran presence, and addresses a big position of need in the secondary. He seems to want to transition full-time to safety, though his ability to play the nickel corner role provides some depth for the team too.

The Colts could use him at safety, however, as they need someone to play alongside Clayton Geathers so that not all the pressure is put on T.J. Green. Furthermore, having a Butler at safety would allow the Colts to play Geathers in the box more like they did last year, allowing Geathers to spend some time as a hybrid safety/linebacker too with Butler and Green at safety. The bottom line: Butler gives the Colts a ton of flexibility and solid play, and he’s worth bringing back. It sounds like he’s testing the market but that the Colts remain quite interested.