27-year old Antoine Bethea is one of the better free safeties in the NFL. He played in all 16 games for the Colts last year and he had 139 tackles, 7 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery and 2 tackles for a loss. Bethea has now played in 91 games in his first six years in the NFL and he has 596 tackles, 12 interceptions, 34 passes defensed, 9 tackles for a loss, 1/2 a sack, 5 forced fumbles and 3 fumble recoveries. 24-year old Joe Lefeged will be Bethea’s top backup in 2012. He played in all 16 games as a rookie for the Colts last year and he had 34 tackles, 4 passes defensed and 2 interceptions. 24-year old Mike Newton is #3 in line at FS for the Colts. He played in 12 games as a rookie for the Colts last year and he had 6 tackles and 1 fumble recovery.
Strong safety is going to have competition in training camp. 27-year old Tom Zbikowski has the edge coming into training camp as he played for new head coach Chuck Pagano in Baltimore. Tom Zbikowski played in 14 games for the Ravens last year and he had 23 tackles and 1 sack. He has now played in 53 games in his first four years in the NFL and he has 88 tackles, 2 interceptions, 4 passes defensed, 1 tackle for a loss and 1 sack. 25-year old David Caldwell is going to challenge Zbikowski for the starting gig at SS in 2012. Caldwell played in all 16 games for the Colts last year and he had 67 tackles, 4 passes defensed and 1 tackle for a loss.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE SAFETIES IN 2012: B