Bethea agrees to four-year deal

Updated: June 11, 2010, 5:26 PM ET
By Adam Schefter | ESPN

Indianapolis has one fewer financial headache.

Colts restricted free-agent safety Antoine Bethea agreed to a four-year contract Friday. The deal is worth $27 million and will pay him about $18 million over the first two years, according to two league sources.

That would be a major upgrade from the $2.521 million one-year tender that had been on the table since March, and Bethea barely beat a Tuesday deadline that would have allowed the Colts to reduce the amount of the tender.

"It's a big burden off my shoulders," Bethea said. "Getting a new contract does not mean I will slack, it just gives me more motivation to play well."

Indianapolis has been trying to sign Bethea and quarterback Peyton Manning before focusing in on disgruntled players such as wide receiver Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis.

Veteran Pro Bowlers Bethea, Mathis and Wayne were missing Friday when the Colts ended their summer minicamp schedule in Indianapolis.

Anthony Gonzalez and a handful of his teammates were standing on the sideline. And the rookies were still trying to work out the kinks.

Coach Jim Caldwell says the team accomplished "a lot" and that the rookies had learned plenty since arriving for camp on April 30.

Between now and training camp, Caldwell says, the Colts will continue working out.

Adam Schefter is ESPN's NFL Insider. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.