Chicago Bears free agent defensive tackle Henry Melton is visiting the St. Louis Rams on Tuesday, according to Jason LaCanfora and a slew of Dallas Cowboys beat writers. (The Dallas crews are on it because he's leaving a visit with the DL-starved Cowboys ... without a contract).
Melton had surgery on his ACL last year, but he reportedly checked out just fine during his visit with Dallas.
FA DT Henry Melton's left knee checked out fine with Dallas Cowboys doctors Monday, per source. All OK. More here: http://t.co/G1i2WVvkEJ— Brandon George (@DMN_George) March 18, 2014
That's good news for the Rams ... and the Cowboys ... and the Vikings ... and the Seahawks ... and the other teams reportedly interested in him. Yes, there are a lot of them. And why not, Melton's the top ranked defensive tackle on the market. A healthy knee and mess of interested teams could translate to a nice new contract for him, but don't rule out the possibility of a one-year "prove it" deal too, since he's just 27 years old.
Melton is reportedly still talking to the Cowboys and other teams about a deal. A long list of visits like this usually means a player's angling for leverage. Just how interested the Rams are depends entirely on the asking price. It won't be especially cheap.
Between the Rams' interest in Melton and Antonio Smith (since signed by the Raiders), you have to wonder about Kendall Langford's place on the team or, more importantly, how the coaches and front office view him. Langford has two seasons left on the $22 million deal he signed in 2012. He's got a cap hit of $6 million this year and $7 million next year.
At the very least, you'd have to think that Melton would start over Langford. During two seasons in St. Louis, Langford has nine sacks. Last year, he also had 16 pressures and two QB hits. Melton's capable of producing more pressure from the middle, which is what the Rams need, but it's not like Langford's been unproductive. Michael Brockers had eight hurries, six hits and 5.5 sacks last year. He had four hits, nine hurries and four sacks as a rookie.
It's hard to say what Melton's asking price is. He could fetch a deal similar to the one Langford got in '12. Or maybe he'd come at a relative bargain like Red Bryant did at four years, $17 million, for the Jaguars. Or maybe he'd just want a one-year thing, as mentioned above.