Rashaan Melvin Is Now the Leader in the Colts’ Secondary
Rashaan Melvin has had a breakout season in 2017. The fifth-year cornerback out of Northern Illinois has become the unquestioned leader in the Colts’ secondary.
Melvin was an undrafted free agent who first signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013. He was released by the Bucs the following year, and from October of 2014 until September of 2016 Melvin bounced around various rosters and practice squads.
Melvin played in 12 games total during that span suiting up for the Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots. He started 2 games and recorded 24 total tackles.
The Colts signed Melvin after he was released by the Dolphins in September last year. Since that time, Melvin has started 18 of a possible 24 games recording 82 tackles and 19 passes defended.
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This year he snagged his first career interception. In fact, he went ahead and grabbed another in the same game when he picked off rookie quarterback Deshon Kizer twice in the Colts’ 31-28 win over the Cleveland Browns in Week 3.
Melvin was unable to go Week 8 versus the Bengals because of a concussion. One could argue that if Melvin were on the field Indianapolis could’ve come out on top as the Bengals narrowly escaped with a 24-23 win.
Melvin has locked up opposing teams’ best receivers all year long. Just last week, he held the NFL’s leading receiver Antonio Brown to 2 catches for 42 yards when the two were matched up.
With Vontae Davis no longer in Indianapolis, the Colts will likely look to Melvin to lead their young secondary into the future. The only caveat is Melvin is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. Will the Colts pony up the dough to bring back their rising star?
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Last offseason the New England Patroits gave Stephon Gilmore a 5-year $65 million contract, and A.J. Bouye signed a similar deal with the Houston Texans. While Melvin is having a terrific season, he’s not yet on the level of Gilmore and Bouye.
Instead, he could be on the lookout for deals similar to that of Logan Ryan (3-years, $30 million) and Dre Kirkpatrick (5-years, $52.5 million).
Regardless of what the financial agreement is, the Colts must retain Melvin at all costs as he is their best unrestricted free agent. If it came to it, the Colts could opt to use the franchise tag to keep Melvin with the team for another season. The franchise tag number, however, would likely be in the ballpark of $15 million, so it would behoove the Colts to negotiate a fair deal.
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Melvin has become the leader in a young secondary filled with potential. Let’s hope he stays in blue and white for years to come.