INDIANAPOLIS – That safety film Darius Butler added to his resume in 2016 must have looked pretty good to new GM Chris Ballard.
On Friday morning, Butler, who will turn 31 years old this weekend, signed with the Colts on a new one-year contract.
There's a definite chance that Butler's return means he will be starting next to Clayton Geathers at safety in 2017.
Butler's true introduction to an expanded role at safety began at the 2016 Training Camp.
Injuries forced Butler, known for his football IQ, from his normal spot as a slot cornerback, back to safety.
The safety role ratcheted up to another level in early November, when the Colts asked Butler to start there against the Green Bay Packers and future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Butler had an interception of Rodgers and was exactly what the Colts needed in executing the necessary defensive game plan to earn (arguably) the team's biggest win of the season.
The move to safety opened Butler's eyes a bit, knowing he was nearing the end of a contract year.
"For me, I feel like it was a beginning of a new career almost," Butler said of his fifth season with the Colts seeing him find a potential new home at safety.
The position for Butler could very well be changing for good in 2017, but the jersey colors will not.
Making the possible permanent switch to safety would alter the thinking for Butler a bit on game days.
When playing nickel corner, Butler was theoretically on an island, often with his back to the quarterback.
At safety, Butler is more of a rover, facing the quarterback and allowing him to read things in a centerfielder-type role.
"I'm 30 now, but I feel like I have a lot of football left," Butler said earlier this offseason. "My body feels good.
"Being back (at safety) is a different perspective. I like it."
Butler joins Jack Doyle and Robert Turbin as the three re-signings the Colts have had through a little more than a week of free agency.
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