Colts Free Agent Watch: Rashaan Melvin
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INDIANAPOLIS – Of the Colts’ dozen or so free agents this year, no one had a better 2017 season than cornerback Rashaan Melvin.
The 28-year-old cornerback was outstanding for the first 3 months of the season, before a hand injury sidelined him for the final 5 games of the year.
Melvin’s breakout season in 2017 had him blanketing some of the game’s top receivers.
The journeyman corner, who has been cut 5 times since entering the NFL as undrafted free agent in 2013, not only found a starting job with the Colts last season, he played a massive role in each of their first 3 victories.
-Melvin’s two third quarter interceptions in Week Three helped the Colts to their first victory of 2017, a 31-28 win over the Browns.
-Melvin silenced Pierre Garcon in the second half of a ‘have to have’ Week Five victory over the 49ers.
-Melvin was stellar in an early November win in Houston, keeping DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller to a quiet afternoon as the Colts earned their first road win of the year.
But Melvin’s finest outing of 2017 came in a loss.
Wanting the challenge of trying to shadow Antonio Brown---unquestionably the NFL’s top receiver---Melvin successfully limited the perennial All-Pro.
Brown had just 3 catches in 7 targets for 47 yards in a Week 10 matchup against Melvin and the Colts. In Brown’s 12 other healthy games last season, he averaged 8 catches, 12.7 targets and 121.8 yards per game.
That put Melvin on the map around the NFL.
Heading into easily the biggest payday of his NFL career, Melvin inked up with mega agent Drew Rosenhaus late last year.
The Colts are going to have to pay a chunk to retain Melvin.
According to Melvin, the Colts have already expressed a desire to bring him back.
“I’m waiting to see exactly where (the Colts and I) stand,” Melvin said on SIRIUS XM radio last week. “I know it’s all positive. They told me they want me to be back. That’s where my career blossomed, so I wouldn’t mind going back there. There’s a lot of potential there.”
Percent I’d Bring Melvin Back: 85
-Yes, the Colts are changing defenses and the need for a dominant man-to-man corner might not be as pressing as it was last season. Still, in today’s NFL, a corner with the skillset of Melvin is hard to find. At the age of 28, a 2-to-3 year (frontloaded) deal makes sense for Melvin. The age number of 28 might seem a bit old, but Melvin has only played in 37 career games, so the normal wear and tear for a player his age isn’t as extreme. Re-signing Melvin will easily be the biggest re-sign contract the Colts have in 2018, but it’s necessary when you consider the youth at corner in Indy. The market will be interesting for Melvin to see how much the Colts are going to have to pay. However, if Chris Ballard is true to his free agency philosophy---rewarding your own---Melvin will be back with the Colts after having a stellar season in a contract year, which we saw in 2017 from re-sign guys Jack Doyle, Darius Butler and Robert Turbin.