The fourth stop in Henry Melton's free agency tour is St. Louis, as the former Chicago Bears defensive tackle left Dallas without a contract, according to Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News.
Melton, 27, has been a popular player on the market, visiting the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks before traveling to visit the Cowboys. Next up for the 2012 Pro Bowler are the Rams, who have Kendall Langford in the starting lineup alongside Michael Brockers on the interior. According to Ryan Van Bibber of SB Nation's Rams blog, Turf Show Times, Melton would likely replace Langford in the starting lineup, if signed.
At the very least, you'd have to think that Melton would start over Langford. During two seasons in St. Louis, Langford has nine sacks. Last year, he also had 16 pressures and two QB hits. Melton's capable of producing more pressure from the middle, which is what the Rams need, but it's not like Langford's been unproductive. Michael Brockers had eight hurries, six hits and 5.5 sacks last year. He had four hits, nine hurries and four sacks as a rookie.
Melton has reportedly not broken contact with other teams during his tour, so the Cowboys, Vikings and Seahawks are not out of the question yet.
Here is other free agency news from Monday and Tuesday that you may have missed:
The Green Bay Packers are bringing back James Starks for two more years after inking the running back to a new contract on Monday night. While the team drafted both Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin in the 2013 NFL Draft, Starks was the second-leading rusher for the Packers, and had a career-best 5.5 yards per carry. He'll still likely play in rotation behind Lacy in 2014, but will have to fight off Franklin and DuJuan Harris for touches.
The New York Giants had one of the worst special teams units in the NFL in 2013 and they made a move to rectify that by signing former Denver Broncos returner Trindon Holliday to a one-year deal. One day after signing Quintin Demps, Holliday is likely to start as the team's punt returner, while Demps will likely handle kickoff returns. Holliday has two career punt return touchdowns and two kickoff return touchdowns.
The Atlanta Falcons previously brought in Trindon Holliday for a visit and will next bring in three-time Pro Bowl returner Devin Hester on Tuesday. According to Dave Choate of SB Nation's Falcons blog, The Falcoholic, Hester would provide the team with a home run threat on punt returns but wouldn't present much as a receiver.
While he's on the wrong side of 30, Hester probably has a couple more quality years left. He's a limited asset as a receiver at this stage of his career and would likely be the Falcons' fourth-or-fifth option at best, but there's no question he'd immediately become the best returner the team has had since peak Eric Weems, giving special teams a considerable boost.
In eight seasons with the Bears, Hester accumulated 13 punt return and five kick return touchdowns. His 18 career return touchdowns are the most in NFL history.
Ed Dickson had a disappointing year in his chance to breakout in 2013, but that hasn't dissuaded the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars from extending contract offers to the tight end. With Dennis Pitta injured in preseason, many highlighted Dickson as a candidate for a big year, but he managed just 25 receptions in 14 starts and only one touchdown. In his four seasons with the Ravens, Dickson tallied 111 receptions for 1,178 yards and seven touchdowns.
A wrench was thrown into the free agency plans of the Oakland Raiders when a long-term contract with Rodger Saffold was voided due to a failed physical, but they made a move to improve their offensive line by signing former New York Giants guard Kevin Boothe. Per Levi Damien of SB Nation's Raiders blog, Silver And Black Pride, Boothe will likely start at left guard:
Boothe's addition bolsters a group that was in dire need of help at left guard. He becomes the second outside free agent offensive lineman signed this off-season, and the third attempted signing with the Roger Saffold deal falling through to begin free agency. The Raiders also signed New York Jets former right tackle, Austin Howard.
Boothe, a sixth-round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, was originally drafted by the Raiders, but was waived after his rookie season and spent the next seven years with the Giants. He started all 16 games in each of the last two seasons for the Giants.