NFL Free Agency: Where Could Melvin Bullitt Land?
Indianapolis Colts' strong safety Melvin Bullitt is currently a Restricted Free Agent (RFA).
A central part of the Colts' defense for the past four years, Bullitt has been the most consistent Strong Safety on the Colts, filling in for Bob Sanders quite nicely.
Bullit has also been a Special Teams captain, and is one of the more loved players by the fans, probably due to his incredible value as an undrafted free agent.
Bullitt was named to USA Today's All Joe team twice, but is most famous for his tackle of Kevin Faulk on the infamous "4th-and-2."
Although Bullitt has been tendered, with a new CBA and the Colts numerous contract situations, it is very possible that Bullitt could end up somewhere other than Indianapolis.
Let's examine five places that Bullitt could end up for the 2011 season.
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The Houston Texans secondary in 2010 was awful. Just plain awful.
Opposing quarterback ratings averaged over 100 as the Texans were the obvious choice for "Worst Pass Defense."
Starting strong safety Bernard Pollard was a liability in pass coverage, and it's unlikely that he returns to the Texans after this year's debacle.
The Texans are very familiar with Bullitt, as four of his six career interceptions have come at Houston's expense, two of them being game savers.
Bullitt would bring a much needed improvement to coverage, although he's not a Pro Bowl caliber safety, he would come at a decent price, allowing the Texans to spend elsewhere.
The one difficulty may be the Texans' switch to Wade Phillip's 3-4 defense, something that Bullitt has had no NFL experience in.
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The Jacksonville Jaguars are another AFC South team with a terrible pass defense. They ended with the second worst opposing quarterback rating in the league.
There were several reasons for this, one of them being a complete lack of pass rush.
However, the general consensus is that the Jaguars' safety play was awful in 2010. A solid safety for a decent price would do wonders for their defense.
The Jaguars rotation mainly consisted of Sean Considine, Don Carey, and Courtney Greene. None of them played very well, in fact the majority of play was awful.
Greene was the only semi-"bright" spot, and the only one who has a chance at starting next year.
Bullitt would bring much needed stability to the safety position, although he may need to play at free safety, one at which he's played sparingly in Indianapolis.
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The Cowboys were also one of the worst in the league at defending the pass, and part of that was the terrible play from the free safety position.
Alan Hall had a very underwhelming season, and FS will be a point of interest in the offseason.
On the other hand, Gerald Sensabaugh was very steady for the Cowboys at strong safety, but the Cowboys seem to be content to let him test the waters of free agency.
If the Cowboys lose Sensabaugh, they could use a cheap, solid safety to stabilize the position.
If Sensabaugh stays, Bullitt could still man the free safety position, and mentor a rookie, or at least be a good short term option.
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Lawyer Milloy started at strong safety for the Seahawks, and they could greatly use an upgrade. It's even in question if he will return, so the 'Hawks need for a strong safety is quite urgent.
The other safety spot was occupied by Earl Thomas, a more than capable player.
Bullitt would provide that upgrade at SS, again at a decent price, allowing the Seahawks to focus on other areas in the draft.
Him and Thomas would form a formidable duo in the back, for not much cash.
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In the end, the best place for Bullitt ends up being in Indianapolis. It has been his home for the past four years, and for good reason.
The Colts Tampa-2 is perfect for Bullitt, and allows him to fill in for both spots. He is a solid option to pair with Antoine Bethea in the Colts.
The Colts would love to have him back, for he solidifies their safety rotation, and is a great Special Teams captain.
This year the Colts defense struggled mightily with Bullitt out, as Aaron Francisco manned the safety position.
The Colts pass defense is usually their strong point, but this season they were sixth best in opposing passer rating. With Bullitt, their defense has been stellar in the secondary the past few years.
While it may not happen, Bullitt's best option is to stay with the Colts. It doesn't hurt that that is the Colts' best option as well.