'Boys show interest in safety

A first-round tender makes it challenging for any restricted free agent draw interest from another NFL team...

A first-round tender makes it challenging for any restricted free agent draw interest from another NFL team, but that hasn't been the case so far for Indianapolis Colts safety Antoine Bethea.

An NFL source has told Scout.com that three NFC East clubs--the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, and the Dallas Cowboys, have been showing interest in the highly reliable and durable defender despite the tender. And two teams in the AFC East--the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets--have been mulling over the possibility of signing the two-time Pro Bowl nominee to an offer sheet.

Originally a sixth-round pick by the Colts in the 2006 NFL Draft, the former Howard University star earned a spot in Indianapolis' starting lineup during his first training camp. During his 59 regular-season starts, Bethea's shown that he's an outstanding open-field tackler with strong pass coverage skills. He's amassed 421 career tackles, 11 interceptions, 13 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

If any team signs Bethea to an offer sheet, the Colts will have seven days to match the offer or accept the other team's first-round pick as compensation. Otherwise, he's guaranteed a one-year deal worth $2.521 million to return to the Colts.

Sources close to the Dallas Cowboys maintain signing Bethea would be a long shot at best at this juncture, but that it is also a situation worth watching.

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