Henry Melton, Chris Conte join Lovie Smith in Tampa

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The Buccaneers whiffed in free agency last season and part of their plan to avoid a repeat may be signing players who played for coach Lovie Smith in Chicago.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that defensive tackle Henry Melton will be signing a one-year deal with Tampa after visiting with the team on Wednesday. Schefter’s colleague Vaughn McClure adds that safety Chris Conte, Melton’s former teammate in Chicago, will also be signing a deal of the same length.

Melton and Conte were both on the Bears defense when Smith was the head coach in Chicago. Melton moved on to Dallas last year, where he played for Smith’s pal Rod Marinelli and with fellow Buccaneers signee Bruce Carter, and will join Gerald McCoy and Clinton McDonald at defensive tackle in Tampa.

Conte has spent his entire career with the Bears until now and his arrival is expected to mean Dashon Goldson’s run with the Buccaneers comes to an end after two seasons that show the Bucs weren’t much better at signing free agents before Smith and General Manager Jason Licht were part of the organization.

30 responses to “Henry Melton, Chris Conte join Lovie Smith in Tampa

  1. At some point in time someone has to wonder why free agents and high draft choices have a propensity to underperform in Tampa . It’s gotta be the city / weather.
    .

  2. Oh man. Sorry Bucs fans. Just pray that the Glazers catch on to Lovie’s scam act a lot quicker than the McCaskeys did.

  3. Goldson is by no means an outstanding player but you’re going to cut him in favor of a guy that suffers concussions EVERY year?

  4. One of my friends is a die-hard Bears fan whose opinion I respect. He had a nickname for Chris Conte that I couldn’t possibly post here. Let’s just say he didn’t like him at all and considered him one of the worst defensive backs he’s ever seen. Hey, I hope it works out for him and Lovie, but this guy’s reputation is putrid. Was Goldson that bad or his contract that out of line with reality?

  5. Hey, at least they’re finally spending. Granted, they’re dumping contracts too. Never mind…I’m confused. It’s early!!!

  6. Why Chris Conte can still make an NFL roster is beyond me…..However I wish him the best. It’s just a relief to see him go as a Bears fan.

    Yes, he knows the Tampa 2 set, but not really knowing when to break on the ball and ball skills make him a liability. He has heart and effort, but I just can’t see him being around very long because when he’s on the field big plays are made for the opposing teams.

  7. If it didn’t work on Chicago, what makes Lovie the Moron think it’s gonna work in Tampa?

  8. This is one aspect of the NFL I cant wrap my head around. A coach has a team of players who dont perform up to the NFL level expectation, and the Coach gets fired. A year or 2 later, the coach has been hired by another team to (generally) turn a loser into a winner. So the coach decides, what better way to turn my new team around, than by signing all the players from my old team (you know, all the players that performed so well that I got fired for losing too much).

    Am I the only one that cant grasp the logic of surrounding yourself by all the players who got you fired from your previous job? Why would you think these guys would be better the second time???

  9. Conte’s not nearly as bad as everyone thinks….but he’s nothing more than a stop-gap at best.

    And Lovie, is Rex still your QB?

  10. Lovei will be fired after tis year he doesnt know how to sign talent he just signs guys to try and fit his scheme!! This team will be awful again this year and he will be gone after two years just like Schiano!!

  11. You people are hilarious.
    It was never Lovies defense that lost games and got him canned. Hell, his teams were competitive BECAUSE of his defense, DESPITE his horrible offenses.

  12. I have to admit I got a chuckle out of that headline. Don’t worry Bucs fans, it will get worse. I hear he’s in discussions with Mike Martz about some wacky idea of having an offense on the team.

  13. “You people are hilarious.
    It was never Lovies defense that lost games and got him canned. Hell, his teams were competitive BECAUSE of his defense, DESPITE his horrible offenses.”

    EXACTLY. This is a guy who essentially told Kurt Waner that Rex was his QB, and Warner didn’t sign because he wouldn’t be allowed a fair chance to compete for the number 1 job.

    Defense wasn’t his issue.

    Conte isn’t horrible. More injury prone than anything else. Coaches always bring guys on who know their system, and to add to getting other guys up to speed on how they do things.

  14. The Buccaneers whiffed in free agency last season and part of their plan to avoid a repeat may be signing players who played for coach Lovie Smith in Chicago…which may explain why Lovie is no longer in Chicago…

  15. Lovie, GD, Smith is clownshoes. This has got to the dumbest coach in the NFL. I refused to watch this buffoon destroy another year in my football life.

  16. blackandbluedivision
    Mar 12, 2015, 10:38 AM CDT
    People forgetting that Conte had his best years under Lovie Smith?

    Conte had a best year? Looney tunes.

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