IRVING (105.3 THE FAN) – At 7:18 p.m. Dallas time, Bears free agent Henry Melton tweeted, “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.’’
Yes, the Pro Bowl defensive tackle has agreed to terms on a multi-year contract to join the Dallas Cowboys – though as of 7:49 the actually paperwork wasn’t completed due to the “complicated nature’’ of the contract, according to team sources.
Both sides finished Monday’s day-and-night meet-and-recruit session feeling like “this is a good fit’’ – the term used by multiple involved parties. And maybe the deal-closer was Melton’s dinner with Rod Marinelli, Dallas’ defensive coordinator who held the same role with the Bears when he mentored Melton to stardom.
The “complications’’ in the contract could have something to do with incentives based on the fact that Melton, 27, played only three games last season before suffering a torn left anterior cruciate ligament. Cowboys doctors, however, have apparently given him clearance and another source said Melton is “90-percent’’ recovered and should be fine for 2014.
Melton, who received the franchise designation in 2013, paying him $8.45 million, will replace Jason Hatcher (Redskins) in the Dallas defense. The Grapevine and University of Texas product, coveted by the Seahawks, Vikings, Rams and others, was named to the Pro Bowl in 2012 and has 15.5 career sacks.
Melton is the third defensive linemen the Cowboys have added in free agency, joining journeyman end Jeremy Mincey and young tackle Terrell McClain. The Cowboys also met with end Jared Allen today and continue to explore the return of end Anthony Spencer, who is coming off microfracture surgery on his knee.
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