Bullitt's back: Colts keep one of their own

July, 27, 2011
7/27/11
4:12
PM ET
We don’t know if the Colts made any sort of inquiries about another safety to pair with Antoine Bethea.

But as two top guys, Quintin Mikell and Eric Weddle, disappeared from the market, Indianapolis locked up its own guy before he started getting more attention from teams still in need.

Melvin Bullitt has struck a new deal with Indianapolis, according to 1070 the Fan, and he returns as a starter instead of a guy capable of taking over for Bob Sanders when he gets hurt. (Sanders was released after the 2010 season and signed with San Diego.)

Bullitt is a smart, steady player who fits the Colts mold. An undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M in 2007, he made the most of an opportunity. But he was part of the injury parade last season, missing the final 12 games of the regular season with a shoulder injury.

While they likely attempt to trim the hefty salary of cornerback Kelvin Hayden, I think he will remain.

That would give the Colts a starting secondary of Bethea and Bullitt between Hayden and Jerraud Powers, with Justin Tryon and Jacob Laceyas situational cornerbacks. That’s a strong group and might also include sixth-round pick Chris Rucker.

Bullitt is slated to join The Ride with JMV shortly. You can listen here. I will come back into this post to add some highlights from the interview.

UPDATE:

Bullitt said he heard from the Rams, the Cardinals, the Texans and a couple other teams.

Some quotes...

On deserving the deal:

"I feel like I've done enough for this team, the organization to show my worth and to show that I want to be here. There have never been any problems out of me. I am going to go out there and produce and try to help the team win."

On his health:

"I'll be ready for the first preseason game. I'm ready now. I told you before if there were different rules I could have played in January."

On Eric Weddle's five-year, $40 million contract with San Diego, with $19 million guaranteed:

"If that's what they want to do, that's up to them. Congratulations to him. If you look at my stats and Eric Weddle's stats, I haven't started nearly as many games and have the same amount of turnovers and have just as many tackles as him without the amount of starts he's had in the regular season. ...I don't understand how you can pay him more than Antonie [Bethea's] paid or even more than Bob [Sanders] was paid when he was defensive player of the year. But if that's what San Diego believes. Eric Weddle's a good player, he's a great player, actually. But that's just the way it is."

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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