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Henry Melton, Chris Conte join Lovie Smith in Tampa

Arizona Cardinals v Dallas Cowboys

Arizona Cardinals v Dallas Cowboys

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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.