INDIANAPOLIS — Talk about taking advantage of your opportunities.
Two seasons ago, the Indianapolis Colts, decimated by injuries at cornerback, brought in Rashaan Melvin off the streets to add some temporary help at the position. But he'd show enough to encourage the team to keep him around for the rest of the year, and give him a shot at a starting spot in 2017.
Not only did Melvin compete for a starting job — he became the team's top cornerback.
Through his hard work and competitive spirit, Melvin blossomed in 2017, and if it weren't for a season-ending hand injury suffered during a play in which he intercepted Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota in Week 12, he very well could've had a trip to the Pro Bowl to plan for at the end of this month.
And now, Melvin is set to become an unrestricted free agent when the league's new year begins at 4 p.m. ET March 14, and it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibilities to say he could be one of the more sought after cornerbacks if the Colts decide to let him hit the market.
In 10 games in 2017, Melvin had 36 tackles and three interceptions — the first three picks of his career — while also adding a team-best 13 passes defensed. His two-interception performance Week 3 against the Cleveland Browns were critical to the Colts' 31-28 victory.
Melvin also constantly asked to be lined up against the opposing team's top receiving threat, and show what he can do against the likes of Sammy Watkins, Larry Fitzgerald, DeAndre Hopkins and Antonio Brown, among others.
But now, heading into the offseason, the Colts have some major decisions to make at the cornerback position. Both Melvin and Pierre Desir, who stepped into the No. 2 cornerback role halfway through the season, are set to hit the market as free agents.
That leaves a few younger, but still talented, players who are for sure under contract at the cornerback position for the Colts in 2018: 2017 second-round pick Quincy Wilson, undrafted rookie Kenny Moore II and first-year corners D.J. White and Chris Milton.2018 Colts Free Agent Watch:* *
- Wide receiver Kamar Aiken
- Inside linebacker Jon Bostic
- Safety Darius Butler
- Cornerback Pierre Desir
- Running back Frank Gore
- Cornerback Rashaan Melvin
- Guard Jack Mewhort
- Running back Christine Michael
- Outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo
- Wide receiver Donte Moncrief
- Center Mike Person
- Quarterback Scott Tolzien
- Kicker Adam Vinatieri
- Tight end Brandon Williams
30 Melvin, Rashaan CB 6-2 196lbs 28yrs 5yrs Northern Illinois