INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts acquired cornerback Cassius Vaughn in a trade with the Denver Broncos in exchange for fullback Chris Gronkowski.
Vaughn, 5-11, 195 pounds, is entering his third NFL season and in 22 career games (three starts) has totaled 22 tackles (18 solo), one interception, four passes defensed and three fumble recoveries. He also contributed on Denver's kickoff return unit and has recorded nine career returns for a 37.2 average and one touchdown.
"Cassius is a young cornerback who brings game experience at his position, proven kickoff return ability and pure speed to the Colts," said General Manager Ryan Grigson. "He's a player who can really run and when you turn on the film you instantly recognize his athletic ability and speed. He's a guy who has not hit his ceiling as a player yet and we saw some really encouraging things on tape that led us to the trade. I think it's a win-win for both clubs because the Broncos are getting a quality football player, person and a heck of a fullback in Chris Gronkowski."
Vaughn joined cornerback Alvin Hall (Detroit, 1981-87) as one of the only two undrafted players in NFL history (since the era of the common draft) to return a kickoff and interception for a touchdown in a career. His lone interception return of 55 yards for a touchdown came against San Diego (10/9/11). Vaughn added a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the 2010 regular season finale against the Chargers on January 2, 2011. The return marked the third-longest play in Broncos history and the second-longest by an undrafted rookie in NFL history.
Gronkowski was signed by the Colts as a free agent on September 4, 2011. He competed in seven contests on special teams before being placed on Injured Reserve on October 25.