NFL Nation: James Ilhedigbo

Safety Antoine Bethea has started every game he’s played in during his eight-year NFL career. The Indianapolis Colts are the only team he’s put a uniform on during his professional career. But come March 11, he’ll step out into somewhat foreign territory when he becomes a free agent.

Bethea, like most who have or currently play for the Colts, has interest in re-signing with the organization.

At the same time, he is intrigued by testing the free-agent market.

“It’s my first time really testing the market, so kind of excited,” he said at the end of the season. “Want to finish my career here, but if not, hey, got to go on and start a new chapter in my career.”

The Colts have interest in re-signing Bethea, but you have to wonder how much they’re willing to pay him, especially since there’s a chance this could be the last big contract of his career.

Bethea, the backbone of the Colts' secondary, recorded his fourth straight season with at least 100 tackles. An issue the Colts have to decide is: Is Bethea and fellow safety LaRon Landry’s playing style too similar?

Bethea is more reliable than Landry, but Landry is heading into the second season of a four-year deal.

Here’s a look at some of the top safeties who will be available during free agency if the Colts and Bethea decide to go their separate ways:

 

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