Free agent DT Henry Melton stated Friday that he's "optimistic" he'll strike a deal with the Bears before the market opens on March 12.
"All the coaching changes and all that have delayed it," Melton said of talks. "Hopefully we can get back on schedule of getting something done." Melton confirmed that the sides negotiated during the season, and "were getting somewhere." Melton should be valued highly by new defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, who runs a Cover 2-based scheme similar to ex-coach Lovie Smith.