Henry Melton, Chris Conte Join Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Dec 29, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears free safety Chris Conte (47) intercepts a pass thrown by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers added two more players from Lovie Smith’s history as the team signed defensive tackle Henry Melton and safety Chris Conte Thursday.

Both players played under Smith during his tenure as the Chicago Bears’ head coach.

Melton spent the first four years of his career in Chicago where he totalled 15.5 sacks and made the 2012 Pro Bowl. He spent 2014 with the Dallas Cowboys where he registered 15 tackles and five sacks.

With Gerald McCoy and Clinton McDonald already entrenched as the team’s defensive tackles, Melton provides a great third option for the Bucs. He also provides something unique, as he is immensely athletic for a defensive tackle, something the Bucs haven’t had in recent seasons.

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Conte, on the other hand, will likely take Dashon Goldson’s spot on the roster as it is widely expected the Bucs will severe ties with him now that Conte has been signed.

Conte, a 2011 third round draft pick, has played in 57 games in four years but has suffered numerous injuries, including multiple concussions.

He has nine career interceptions and has made 231 tackles. His pass defence though is suspect at best as he has been part of some awful Bears passing defences over the last few seasons.

Contract length and salary figures were not disclosed for either player.

Melton and Conte join Bruce Carter, who signed a four-year deal Wednesday, as the Bucs’ free agent signings.

Next: Bucs Sign Bruce Carter