Tampa Bay adds two free agents on defense
(BTLS Staff) TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday signed a pair of free agent defenders.
Defensive tackle Henry Melton and safety Chris Conte will compete for spots on the 2015 roster. Both played for head coach Lovie Smith in Chicago.
Conte, 6’3”, 203 pounds, was drafted by the Bears in the third round of the 2011 National Football League draft following his senior year at the University of California. He started 52 of 57 games in Chicago, registering 231 tackles, 21 defended passes and nine interceptions.
Last year Conte, 26, tied a career-high with three interceptions. While at Cal he earned first-team All-Pac 10 honors.
Melton joins the Buccaneers after spending the 2014 season with the Dallas Cowboys where he tallied 15 tackles and one sack. He originally entered the league in 2009 when the Bears selected him in the fourth round of the draft.
The 28-year-old University of Texas product played in Chicago until 2013. In 64 career games – 35 starts – he’s racked up 101 tackles, 20.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.
Melton is described as a ‘freak athlete,’ and played running back for the Longhorns until his junior year. Football is in his DNA as his uncle Ray Crockett played for 14 seasons in the NFL with Detroit, Kansas City and Denver.
Ray Crockett won two Super Bowl rings while with the Broncos.
Melton was a Pro Bowl selection in 2012 when he registered six sacks, fifth most in the league that season for a defensive tackle.