Ten things to know about new Giants safety Antoine Bethea:
1. Bethea (pronounced ANN-twahn buh-THAY) has been named to the Pro Bowl three times (2007, 2009, 2014) and was the Colts 2013 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. He joins a defensive backfield that includes Jabrill Peppers, who was part of recent trades that brought over guard Kevin Zeitler and two draft picks from the Browns, pending physical exams.
2. Entering his 14th NFL season, Bethea has appeared in 193 regular season games (184 starts) for the Colts (2006-13), 49ers (2014-16) and Cardinals (2017-18). He has also started 13 postseason contests, including two Super Bowls. He won Super Bowl XLI with Indianapolis.
3. After playing at Howard University, Bethea was originally drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the sixth round (207th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft.
4. According to STATS LLC, Bethea is first among active players with 1,222 total tackles. He has recorded 100+ tackles in a season seven times, including last year in Arizona. He had 121 tackles in 2018, second-most in his career, to go along with a career-high 3.0 sacks while starting all 16 games for the ninth time
5. His 24 interceptions are tied with Glover Quin for fifth among active safeties, behind Reggie Nelson (38), Mike Adams (30), Eric Weddle (29), and Earl Thomas (28).
6. During his first season with Arizona in 2017, Bethea recorded a career-high five interceptions, posted his first career multi-interception performance (Week 16 vs. Giants) and had at least one pick in three consecutive games (Weeks 4-6) for the first time in his career. He became just the fourth Cardinals safety in the last decade to record at least five interceptions in a season, joining Tyrann Mathieu, Rashad Johnson and Adrian Wilson.
7. He reunites with Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher, who held the same post during Bethea’s first year with the Cardinals. The defense ranked sixth in the NFL in both total yards and rushing. They also overlapped during the 2012 season in Indianapolis, where Bettcher worked as the outside linebackers coach. He also served as the special assistant to head coach Chuck Pagano and Bruce Arians, who spent 12 games as interim head coach while Pagano was receiving treatment for leukemia.
8. Bethea attended Denbigh High School in Newport News, Virginia. He was inducted into the Howard University Hall of Fame in 2016. As a child, Bethea spent two years in Germany, where his father Larry was stationed in the Army. He met his wife Samantha when they were freshman athletes at Howard University. He completed his degree in Administration of Justice in May of 2011.
9. Bethea has established himself as one of the NFL’s leading philanthropists with his Safe Coverage Foundation, which was created in 2011. The 2013 Indianapolis Colts Water Payton Man of the Year honoree has made it a goal to help youth stay in school and receive a strong education. His foundation is committed to providing access and resources for students to achieve their dreams of a higher education while providing exposure opportunities, enrichment experiences and the tools needed to succeed. The Safe Coverage Foundation offers many different programs for kids, including annual youth football camps held in Virginia and Washington D.C., college tours, technology for students enrolled in higher education programs and offering tickets to games throughout the football season.
10. In 2017, Bethea was named the inaugural recipient of the Black College Football Pro Player of the Year award, which is presented by the NFLPA. The award is given annually to the most outstanding professional football player from a Historically Black College and University.
Photos from the career of veteran safety Antoine Bethea