Yesterday, when the Vikings signed DT Linval Joseph on the heels of a new contract for Everson Griffen, it was presumed by most everyone that the Vikings were done on the defensive line.
Well, everyone but the Minnesota Vikings apparently. It's been widely reported on Twitter and by Strib beat writer Master Tesfatsion that former Bears DT Henry Melton will be visiting Winter Park tomorrow.
Melton was a very good 'three technique' DT for the Bears before he missed 13 games to a knee injury last season, and the Vikings would be bringing him in to presumably play that spot for them. If healthy, Melton would add tremendous depth to a defensive line that is suddenly a team strength on paper.
With Brian Robison, Shariff Floyd, Linval Joseph and Everson Griffen starting, and a guy like Henry Melton thrown in to the rotation, it gives the Vikings not only depth, but flexibility to move to a 3-4 for certain packages, as Joseph has the body type to play the traditional nose tackle in a 3-4.
Outside of the Melton news, there isn't much else going on for the Vikings in day two, at least in free agency. If the Vikings do go ahead and sign Melton, I don't think it would push the cap numbers up enough to preclude the Vikings from addressing other needs. They entered free agency with around $30 million in cap space, and are probably in the high teens right now once you throw in the secondary signings of guys like Joe Berger.
You have to assume if the Vikings sign Melton, it would be cap friendly and incentive based due to his injury history. Subtract 7 or 8 million, give or take, for the rookie pool, and it gives the Vikings money to work with to still get a LB and CB. And if they can re-structure Chad Greenway, or move money in other similar ways, this is a very doable thing.
This has all the makings of a typical Rick Spielman deal--talented player with some injury history, but the contract, if offered, will be team friendly in case it doesn't work out. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.
And I think it's safe to say that Mike Zimmer is emphasizing the defense, isn't it?
Stay tuned, folks.