With the recent news that Eric Weddle has been re-signed by the San Diego Chargers, and is now the highest paid safety in NFL history, there is growing concern in Colts nation regarding the strong safety position. Weddle’s signing comes on the heals of Quintin Mikell’s $7 million per year contract on Tuesday, leaving Donte Whitner and Dawan Landry as the top veteran free agents still on the market.
While Indianapolis may yet re-sign Melvin Bullitt, he too is receiving interest from the Rams and Cardinals — though local radio host JMV indicates that his chances to remain with the Colts are good. Though there is a full stable of unproven safety talent already set to enter training camp with players like Chip Vaughn and Al Afalava, it is promising to learn that Tuesday’s agreement with rookie safety Joe Lefeged has culminated into a signing.
Lefeged was considered one of the top safety prospects in the 2011 NFL Draft and is known for his speed, hard hitting, and ability to stop the run. He was very comfortable playing in the box as a run defending safety who had the speed and athleticism to blitz as well. He adds to the training camp competition for return duties, as he finished the 2010 season as the all-time Rutgers single-season kick return leader with 948 return yards, and a 24.9 yard average.
Fans in Indianapolis are still holding their collective breath over a free agent acquisition or Bullitt signing to make up for Bob Sanders departure to the Chargers. Until then, Lefeged should help alleviate some concerns. He may have gone undrafted (as did Bullitt) but he was widely considered amongst the very best college safeties to enter the NFL this season.