After bouncing around during the 2014 and ’15 seasons, Rashaan Melvin found stability with the Colts over the past two years. He would like to stay in Indianapolis and added the Colts have informed him they would like to have him back as well.
“I’m waiting to see exactly where we stand,” the impending UFA said of he and the Colts during a Sirius XM Radio interview (Twitter link). “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.”
Melvin started 19 games between the 2016 and ’17 seasons with the Colts and was the team’s best corner last season. A hand injury halted Melvin’s breakout campaign after 10 games, but the work he did prior to that will make him a sought-after player on the market. The Colts are projected to hold $74MM-plus in cap space, a figure that currently sits third in the league, so they could afford Melvin. But the team now has a new coach in Frank Reich and new DC in Matt Eberflus. That could complicate Melvin staying in Indianapolis, but it’s obviously not a deal-breaker.
Here’s the latest from the South divisions:
- The Saints have some key free agents, both RFAs and UFAs, to possibly retain. But Kenny Vaccaro looks to be on his way out of New Orleans, Larry Holder of NOLA.com writes. Vaccaro was the subject of rampant trade rumors prior to the 2017 deadline, with the Cowboys being mentioned as a team discussing a deal for the safety. Vaccaro’s Saints run may have ended with an IR trip in December. He will join a talented safety UFA contingent, one that also features Eric Reid, Tre Boston and Morgan Burnett. Vaccaro started for five seasons with the Saints and turned 28 in January.
- Holder could see the Saints offering an RFA tender to neither Willie Snead nor Brandon Coleman and creating a need at wideout. An original-round tender would cost the team $1.9MM. While that would seem like an insult to Snead given his 2015 and ’16 production, he disappeared from the Saints’ offense last season after returning from an early-season suspension. The sides were in talks about an extension last summer, but Snead ended up playing on an ERFA tender. He then caught just eight passes for 92 yards; that came after two seasons of at least 895 air yards. Holder estimates the Saints will not tender Coleman but could see the sides reuniting for a lower amount. He does not envision Snead staying in New Orleans for a lower amount if the Saints non-tender him.
- Despite tearing his Achilles’ tendon in late November, Texans running back D’Onta Foreman is expected to be ready for the start of the 2018 season, Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com reports. Foreman’s ongoing rehab could give Miller one more chance, but if the second-year ball-carrier can come back healthy, Barshop could see this being closer to a timeshare going forward rather than a starter-complement situation.
- The Jaguars‘ Blake Bortles extension, despite being an $18MM-AAV pact, doubles as a way for the team to seek more UFA help this offseason while looking in the draft for a developmental passer to possibly succeed the incumbent, Mike Kaye of First Coast News writes. Kaye notes a tight end would be high on the Jags’ list of possible upgrades via free agency. The Julius Thomas pact did not work out for the team, and Marcedes Lewis has one year left on his deal and would be entering his 13th season. Bortles’ deal being for low-end starter money would allow the team to draft a quarterback soon while Bortles either develops or flounders. That said, Jacksonville is taking a risk in the short term considering how close it was to its first Super Bowl berth and the limitations associated with a Bortles-led offense.