Before joining the Cowboys this off-season, Henry Melton spent four years with the Bears.
He went from being a development pick as a fourth-rounder in 2009 to a Pro Bowler in 2012 for them. But now he’s ready to face them as an opposing player for the first time.
“I don’t want to say it’s been circled, but I’ve been looking forward to it,” Melton said. “Chicago is a great place. It’s cold, but the fanbase is passionate like it is out here. The city as a whole, and everybody there – I had a good time.”
Melton compiled 15 1/2 sacks with the Bears in his four seasons, including a seven sack season in 2011 and a six sack season in 2012. He started 32 of 48 career games with them.
But Melton saw his tenure end with them after last season. They placed the franchise tag on him after his breakout 2012 season, but he lasted only three games before tearing his left ACL. That paved the way for him to sign with the Cowboys, his hometown team, for a $1.25 million base salary that could be worth up to $5 million this season. The Cowboys also have a three-year option on Melton after this season.
“You know, it’s a business,” Melton said. “One day, you’re a franchise player and the next year you’re gone. It’s no hard feelings, but it’s a business.”
Melton isn’t the only one making a return to the Windy City. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli was on the Bears’ staff from 2009-12.