Melton's future with Bears in doubt

Bears GM Phil Emery yesterday said the "clock is ticking" in regard to Henry Melton's potential return, yet Melton continues his free agency tour and is headed to Seattle today.

When asked about the potential return of defensive tackle Henry Melton yesterday, Chicago Bears GM Phil Emery was pragmatic in terms of the free-agency process.

"I think he's still got some teams to visit," said Emery. "We've pretty much left it with Jordan [Woy] his agent that he was going to go through this process and when he got through it and he had a pretty good idea of what he market is, we can talk at that time."

Henry Melton
Jonathan Daniel/Getty

Emery was on a conference call with Chicago media to introduce his most-recent acquisition, former Lions defensive lineman Willie Young. The team has added two starting defensive ends in Young and Lamarr Houston, who will combine for $7.6 million against the 2014 salary cap. Emery also acquired WR Domenik Hixon, on top of safeties Ryan Mundy and M.D Jennings, and LB Jordan Senn.

For a team that came into free agency pressed to the salary cap, those signings haven't left much in the coffers.

"Of course, the clock is ticking [for Melton]," Emery said. "Our resources and what we have at that time may have changed, but we'll see where we're at when that's all finished."

Melton was in talks with the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday and visited the Minnesota Vikings yesterday. Today, he'll visit wit the Seattle Seahawks.

Coming off ACL surgery last year, this process for Melton could be lengthy, as teams want a good look at that knee before paying him millions. It appears Emery is willing to be patient but not to the point where he's going to pass on impact players waiting for Melton to decide.

If Emery continues at his current pace in free agency, while setting aside roughly $4 million for the incoming draft class, the longer Melton continues his open-market tour, the less likely it is he'll return to Chicago.

UPDATE: Melton is scheduled to visit with the Cowboys over the weekend.

Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his fourth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.

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