The Indianapolis Colts have a ton of needs, and very few standouts within the construction of their current roster. A handful of Colts will be free agents as the new league year kicks off March 14th and — for most of them — it appears as though the team will be letting them walk.
Donte Moncrief is someone that will be interesting to see if either he or the Colts still have interest in continuing their relationship, Frank Gore isn’t getting any younger and Pierre Desir played well for them last season in llimited action. So, there are some questions surrounding the group, but the URFA with the most shine is Rashaan Melvin.
The Colts would be expected to re-sign him to a relatively short-term, fair-priced deal considering him having a career year in 2017, but some things have changed. First, Melvin understands that he had the kind of season that he did and he’s going to want to get paid accordingly. As if that isn’t enough to understand that negotiations may have the potential to be somewhat difficult, Melvin’s new agent will only compound those likelihoods.
Drew Rosenhaus is well known for attempting to milk every penny out of teams in order to get his client’s the heftiest payday and helped T.Y. Hilton get his 5-year, $65M extension before the 2015 season. We can expect Melvin to be asking in the neighborhood of $10.5M — $12M average annual salary, in my estimation, and there’s no doubt that the Colts have the money to make that happen.
The issues will be Melvin’s age (28) to some extent, and the fact that he’s only cultivated one very good season in the league thus far. Make no mistake about it, Melvin was indeed very good last year, but he also got injured towards the end of the season and ended up on IR.
#Colts Free Agent CB @Rmelvin30 on his future: I'm waiting to see exactly where we (him & the Colts) stand. 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. pic.twitter.com/QUduUFoZuj— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) February 23, 2018
Melvin does appear to have interest in staying in Indianapolis, and according to him, the Colts have mutual interest in keeping him around.
The Colts desperately need a No. 1 cornerback to pair with Quincy Wilson. Whether that ends up being Melvin, a guy like Trumaine Johnson — who looks as though he’ll be available — one of the younger free agents like Kyle Fuller or Bashaud Breeland or even a draft pick, something is going to need to happen at the position.
Melvin was playing like a top-10 CB last season, but do the Colts want to drop that kind of scratch on a player who will be 29 in October and has the limited success? On the surface I think Chris Ballard and the Colts will be strongly considering it. On the other hand, color me skeptical on this situation simply due to the lack of communication Melvin is eluding to.
If the shared interest is that strong the Colts may take a similar stance that they did last year in free agency when bringing in other players. I mean, the Colts paid Vontae Davis like a top-10 guy when he clearly wasn’t for the last couple of years. Melvin still could have a few years of his best football ahead of him, and when considering the drastic rise in cap this wouldn’t be the worst deal to make.
I will say this. Without hearing the tone Melvin used in this interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio, his saying that he “wouldn’t mind” staying in Indianapolis doesn’t seem like there’s a ton of emotion in that sentence. This doesn’t necessarily mean that he lacks the interest in staying in Indianapolis, rather maybe he just doesn’t care where he ends up so long as the money is right.
When you add in that Melvin had far and away his best year as a pro, he isn’t a scheme specific talent and can work in any defense and that he’s worked for less than $1.5M over the last two seasons — then you can’t blame him for looking for as much as he can get. The largest issue to overcome is the Colts answering the question as to whether they are at all partial to Melvin. Again, the lack of communication seems relevant.
From 30,000 feet, this doesn’t feel like anything close to a done deal. Normally if two sides were heavily interested in getting something done you would expect there to have been initial talks of an extension. Nothing yet, and the time is running out for all of that.
But, it’s not just that they may not reach an extension before free agency kicks off, I’m questioning how much interest there is at all to be perfectly honest. In fact, I don’t expect Ballard or Melvin to add emotion into the equation at all. I’m leaning heavily towards Melvin looking strictly for dollar signs, and for the Colts to move on to the younger options.