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Safety Antoine Bethea, 49ers finalize 4-year deal

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 12, 2014 at 5:57 pm •  Published: March 12, 2014
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Much like the San Francisco 49ers, Antoine Bethea understands the disappointment of losing a Super Bowl.

That defeat came with the Indianapolis Colts after the 2009 season. San Francisco's new safety also won a championship during his rookie season of 2006.

Bethea insists he is ready for another ring after finalizing his new $23 million, four-year contract with the 49ers on Wednesday, becoming a key new presence in the secondary after Donte Whitner's departure to the Cleveland Browns.

"One of the reasons I'm here in San Fran, to try to get another ring," Bethea said. "That's what I'm here to do."

Bethea announced Tuesday on Twitter he had joined the 49ers, then the team made it formal Wednesday.

The 29-year-old Bethea had 110 tackles, two interceptions and a sack last season, his sixth straight year starting every game for the Colts.

"Just as a football fan, you have to notice the talent they have on the team. You have to respect what they've been able to accomplish these last couple years," Bethea said. "First of all, it's a winning organization. From the past couple years, from outside looking in, an extremely good team. It looks like they have a ball out there on the field. Coming in, knowing this defense, a great defense, a great front seven, a great back end, I just wanted to come in and do my part."

A two-time Pro Bowler, Bethea was a sixth-round draft pick by the Colts out of Howard in 2006.

"Antoine is a durable, experienced player who has competed at a high level throughout his career in the National Football League," 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said. "He has proven to be a man of high character and is a welcome addition to our team and the Bay Area community."

He will be called upon to help lead the secondary after Whitner made the calls for that unit, and will work with 2013 top draft pick Eric Reid after his impressive rookie season.

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