The Chicago Bears free agency plan could involve a bold move of some kind. That’s what most people are focusing on at this point. However, there’s also the strong likelihood they may seek out cheaper options. Players who might not be considered prime choice meat at the market but could produce a fine meal with the right chef. That’s where the presence of new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano becomes interesting.
His type of player may differ to a degree from his predecessor Vic Fangio. That means there could be certain free agents out there people should start watching in the coming month as the market prepares to open for 2019. Among those names involved, who should fans watch? Well, there is one that can’t be ignored and that’s cornerback Rashaan Melvin.
Paul Gutierrez of ESPN is of the belief that the Oakland Raiders won’t make a play to re-sign the veteran after one season with the team due to his disconnect with the coaching staff who wouldn’t let him play a style he was more comfortable with.
“Melvin, who signed a one-year, $5.5 million deal with Oakland and had one interception, started the Raiders’ first five games, was inactive for two after his social media diatribe, came off the bench for seven and started the final two. But with the dual emergence of Gareon Conley and Daryl Worley at cornerback, along with his frustrations, Melvin could use a change of scenery, unless he’s amenable to a different role.”
Chuck Pagano got the most out of Melvin in Indianapolis
Melvin was a journeyman for much of his early career, bouncing around teams like New England, Baltimore, and Miami among others. It wasn’t until 2016 when he signed with the Indianapolis Colts that it seemed he’d finally found a home. After starting nine games that year, he had a breakout of sorts in 2017 with a career-high three interceptions in just 10 games. That is what helped him sign a nice $5.5 million one-year deal in Oakland.
Melvin is an Illinois-native who went to school at Northern Illinois. That combined with the presence of Pagano with the Bears makes this an almost too obvious connection to ignore. The Bears are no doubt in search of depth at cornerback. Bryce Callahan is a free agent and Prince Amukamara has a shaky health history. The 29-year old could make for a nice cheap option to bolster their secondary.