The Indianapolis Colts today agreed to terms with kicker Adam Vinatieri and strong safety Melvin Bullitt. The team also signed 15 rookie free agents and released kicker Brett Swenson and defensive back Jordan Hemby.
Vinatieri, 6-0, 202 pounds, is a 15-year veteran who competed with New England for 10 seasons (1996-2005) prior to joining the Colts in 2006. In his career, he has converted 364 of 440 field goal attempts for an 82.7 percentage, which currently ranks 11th all-time in the league. Vinatieri was the second-fastest player to 300 career field goals (179 games) and has logged 23 game-winning field goals, his latest coming against Tennessee (1/2/11) last season with no time left on the clock. The South Dakota State graduate enters the 2011 campaign ranked 12th all-time in most kicking points scored (1,657) in the NFL and 11th in most field goals made in the league (364).
Bullitt, 6-1, 201 pounds, enters his fifth season with the Colts and has posted 178 career tackles (116 solo) while adding 12 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and six interceptions in 48 career games. In 2009, the Texas A&M graduate set a career-high with 82 tackles having started in 12 of 14 contests. He also totaled a career-high 13 tackles against Tennessee on 12/6. In 2008, Bullitt set a career-high and led the team with four interceptions while contributing with 69 stops (42 solo).
The Colts also signed the following rookie free agents:
Travis Baltz, P (Maryland) – Baltz was a four-year starter for the Terps who served as both the punter and place-kicker during his senior season. He earned all-conference honors in 2008, freshman All-America accolades in 2007 and was a two-time Ray Guy Award candidate (2009-10). Baltz ended his collegiate career ranked fifth in school history in punting average (41.2), third in punting yards (9,224) and holds the single-season school record for consecutive PATS (27 in 2010).
David Bedford, DE (South Florida) – In three seasons with the Bulls, Bedford recorded 52 tackles (36 solo), seven tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, one interception and one forced fumble. He started all 13 games at defensive end during his senior season and posted career highs with 38 tackles and four tackles for loss. Bedford spent the 2007 campaign at Independence Community College and was rated as the 10th best junior college player and fifth-best defensive end in the country by Rivals.com.
Chris Colasanti, LB (Penn State) – Colasanti competed in every season at Penn State (2007-10) and finished his career with 149 tackles (56 solo). He started 11 of 13 contests during his senior season, contributing with 112 stops (39 solo) and 8.5 tackles for loss. Colasanti was presented with the Frank Patrick Total Commitment Award in 2009, which is given to the player who displays total commitment to academic pursuits, offseason preparation, in-season commitment and community service. As a sophomore, he also earned Academic All-Big 10 honors.
Darren Evans, RB (Virginia Tech) – During his senior season, Evans compiled 857 yards on 151 carries for a 5.7 yards per carry average while adding 11 touchdowns. Prior to missing the 2009 campaign due to injury, Evans totaled 1,254 yards and 11 touchdowns as a freshman and was named the MVP of Tech’s win over Cincinnati in the Orange Bowl.
David Gilreath, WR (Wisconsin) – Gilreath holds the Big Ten record for career kickoff returns with 135 and career kickoff return yardage with 3,025. He also carries school records for kickoff return yards in a season (967) and in one game (189). Gilreath finished his career at Wisconsin ranked third all-time with 5,265 career all-purpose yards and 21st all-time with 1,077 career receiving yards. As a senior, he was named the Badgers’ Special Teams MVP and added 370 receiving yards and one touchdown.
Mike Hartline, QB (Kentucky) – At Kentucky, Hartline completed 523 of 855 passes for 5,680 yards and 38 touchdowns. He compiled his best season last year, totaling 3,178 yards on 268 of 405 passing and 23 touchdowns. In a victory against South Carolina, Hartline completed 32 of 42 passes for 349 yards and four touchdowns, which earned him SEC Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors. Prior to an injury in 2009, the Canton, Ohio native was the starter under center as a sophomore and along with being named Kentucky’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, he also garnered SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors vs. Middle Tennessee State.
Joe Horn, WR (Ashland) – Horn left Ashland as the school’s career leader in receiving touchdowns (28) and receiving yardage (2,681) while ranking second in career receptions (170). He was a three-time GLIAC second-team selection. As a senior, Horn caught a team-high 49 passes for 878 yards and 12 touchdowns. In his final collegiate contest on Nov. 13, he tied the school single-game record for touchdowns (six), which included four by reception, one by rush and one by a kickoff return.
Jake Kirkpatrick, OL (TCU) – As a senior at TCU, Kirkpatrick was the recipient of the Rimington Trophy given to the nation’s top center. He was also one of four finalists and the lone offensive player for the 2010 Rotary Lombardi Award, which is awarded to the nation’s top lineman. Kirkpatrick was a Walter Camp and Sporting News first-team All-America honoree and he garnered Associated Press, SI.com, CBSSports.com and Phil Steele’s second-team All-America accolades. Kirkpatrick started 26 consecutive games from his junior and senior seasons and competed in 48 collegiate contests.
Joe Lefeged, S (Rutgers) – Lefeged was a three-year starting strong safety and two-year starting kick returner at Rutgers having competed in a school record 49 straight games. He broke the school record with 948 yards on 38 kickoff returns as a senior in 2010. On the defensive side of the ball, Lefeged compiled 238 career tackles and last season totaled 84 stops en route to All-Big East second team honors. He was named the Big East’s Defensive and Special Teams Player of the Week after contributing with two forced fumbles, one interception and two blocked punts against Florida International (9/11/10). The nominations made him the first player in conference history to earn both honors in the same week.
Mike McNeill, TE (Nebraska) – In 49 career games (30 starts) at Nebraska, McNeill totaled a school record for receptions by a tight end (82) while adding 1,072 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. He posted his best season in 2008 when he set a single-season school record for receptions by a tight end (32) and added a career-high 442 yards and six TDs. In 2009, McNeill earned Associated Press Second Team All-Big 12 honors and was an Honorable Mention All-Big 12 selection voted on by the conference’s coaches.
Larrone Moore, WR (Delaware State) – Moore totaled 102 receptions for 1,236 yards and five touchdowns in 43 career games at Delaware State. In 2009 as a junior, he ranked second on the team with 33 catches and 315 yards while posting the third-highest kickoff return-yard average (25.6) in the MEAC. As a freshman in 2007, Moore led the squad with 431 kickoff return yards.
Adrian Moten, LB (Maryland) – Moten left Maryland ranked 12th on the school’s record list in career sacks (15.5), 14th in career tackles for loss (24.0) and also totaled 219 tackles, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and six interceptions. As a senior, he started all 13 games and ranked fourth on the team with a career-high 77 tackles. Moten also logged a career-best four interceptions last year, which were the second-most in one season by a Maryland linebacker in school history. In 2007, he earned freshman All-America and freshman All-ACC honors.
Kerry Neal, LB (Notre Dame) – Neal competed in all 50 contests during his four-year career at Notre Dame and totaled 112 tackles (49 solo), 11.0 tackles for loss, seven passes defensed, one forced fumble, three fumble recoveries, seven sacks and one interception. As a senior he posted a career-high with 42 stops and added his first career forced fumble.
Ollie Ogbu, DT (Penn State) – Ogbu was a three-year starter at defensive tackle for the Nittany Lions and was a Second Team All-Big Ten selection as a senior. In his collegiate career, Ogbu collected 113 tackles, 29 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. He earned a spot on the Sporting News Freshman All-Big Ten team in 2007 after totaling 18 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, one sack and one forced fumble.
Chad Spann, RB (Northern Illinois) – Spann finished with 536 career rushes for 2,916 yards and 49 touchdowns in his four-year career at Northern Illinois. He also contributed with 23 receptions for 198 yards and one TD. As a senior, Spann started all 14 games at running back for the Huskies and led the MAC with 1,388 rushing yards. He also led the league and tied for fourth nationally in scoring with 132 points en route to earning the Vern Smith Leadership Award as the MVP in the MAC voted on by the league’s coaches.