Defensive tackle Henry Melton's free agency visit to his home state of Texas has proved fruitful, with the NFL Network's Adam Schefter tweeting:
Cowboys and DT Henry Melton are putting finishing touches on a multi-year deal, according to a source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 19, 2014
The move reunites Melton with former position coach and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, under whose tutelage he blossomed from a raw 4th-round defensive end prospect, whom the Bears drafted in 2009, into a Pro Bowl three-technique defensive tackle following the 2012 season. Unable to reach an agreement for 2013, he was franchise tagged by the Bears last season.
The Cowboys, who changed from a 3-4 defense to a Cover-2 system last season under Monte Kiffin, badly needed an under tackle in the system's signature position and owner Jerry Jones was willing to make the necessary salary cap moves to ensure he didn't get away. Terms of the deal have yet to be released.
Henry Melton himself confirmed the news on his twitter:
Thank you chicago for the best 5 years of my life!.... I can't wait to begin the next chapter of my life... With a star on my helmet.— Henry Melton (@HenMel) March 19, 2014
Bears general manager Phil Emery had expressed a desire to see Melton return, despite having voiced reservations about his commitment to the rehab process and the recent lawsuit in which the lineman is being sued by the owner of a bar in Grapevine, Texas, but was willing to let him test the market following a return from missing all but three games of the 2013 season to an ACL injury.
What do you think, Bears fans? Does it make taking Aaron Donald at #14 in the draft a certainty, if not an absolute necessity?