Source: FA DT Henry Melton is on his way this morning to travel for a visit to Seattle.
— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 14, 2014
Henry Melton is exactly the type of opportunity this team looks for.
His market is stalling because of a previous ACL injury. A year ago he would’ve been a prize free agent.
Now? He’s having to wait for visits.
When healthy he’s among the best three techniques in the league.
He had 13 sacks in 2011-12 after switching from running back in college. At the Texas pro-day in 2009 he ran a 4.64 (at 269lbs), jumped 34.5 inches in the vertical and managed a 10.1 in the broad jump.
He’s not just a pass rusher either, he can play the run too.
The Seahawks need to keep adding depth to their defensive line. It’s fair to imagine they’ll make at least one more acquisition before the draft.
Aside from Melton, Oakland defensive tackle Vance Walker is also making a visit (EDIT — he signed a 3-year deal with the Chiefs before he even got on the plane).
If Melton is willing to gamble on himself, he could be the next great project for this team.
The sales pitch is obvious.
“Come and be the next Michael Bennett”
Like Bennett he’d turn 28 during his initial season in Seattle. This time next year, there’s no reason why he can’t command a similar contract if he proves he’s fully recovered from knee surgery.
It’d be a perfect fit, for team and player.
Seattle can line up Melton alongside Tony McDaniel, with Avril and Bennett on the edge.
They wouldn’t need a Red Bryant on that line. It’s plenty strong enough to act as a four man front on early downs.
So if it’s such an obvious fit, what are the stumbling blocks?
Firstly, the Seahawks need to check on his knee. The main purpose of the visit was probably to do a medical. If there’s any concern there, they’ll run a mile. This isn’t like Bennett and his torn rotator cuff.
There are some character red flags too.
Melton was arrested and charged with ‘intoxicated driving’ as a junior in college. He was arrested again in 2013 for assault and public intoxication.
So there’s not just an injury risk. You have to do your homework here.
Melton is due to visit Dallas next having already spent time with the Vikings.
The Cowboys have around $13m in cap space while Minnesota is at $16m. Seattle has an estimated $14-15m remaining.
Dallas in particular have to do something. They’ve lost Jason Hatcher and cut Demarcus Ware. Their line is decimated right now.
They might be willing to pay Melton as a bona fide starter now. No prove it deal. That’s how desperate they could be.
If the Seahawks are willing to clear his knee, the Cowboys would be too. And he is a quality starter when healthy.
It’s also his home-state team. He played for the Longhorns in college.
A longer term deal with the panicking Cowboys makes just as much sense as a one-year prove it contract in Seattle.
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.
Having been pretty quiet so far, the Seahawks are due a signing or two.
They might have to play the slow game with Melton (as they are with Jermichael Finley) but it could pay dividends in the end.
B.J. Raji has signed a one-year contract with the Packers worth $4m.
That pretty much sets the market for one-year ‘prove it’ deals at defensive tackle.
Jason Hatcher was paid big money in Washington to avoid needing to take a short term contract.
We’ll see if Melton gets lured away too.
If not, a $4m deal for one year in Seattle makes sense.