After losing 29-year-old defensive end Vance Walker for the season to an ACL injury in training camp last week, the Denver Broncos found themselves weak at the position. Walker was having an impressive camp filling in for Malik Jackson, who fled to Jacksonville after receiving a 6-year $90 million contract. Jenna Laine of ESPN reported this morning that the Broncos would be holding a workout for defensive lineman Henry Melton today. Apparently the Broncos’ coaching staff was impressed with Melton, as he announced his signing on Instagram this afternoon.
Melton will likely have an opportunity to become the starting defensive end, opposite Derek Wolfe. Broncos rookie Adam Gotsis and recent signee Jared Crick have been competing for the job, but Melton has the potential to beat out both of these players. Melton was selected by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL draft. In his six NFL seasons, Melton has started a total of 36 games for the Bears, Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and was selected to the 2012 Pro Bowl while playing for the Bears.
In a corresponding move, the Broncos have released guard Sam Carlson. Carlson started 26 games as a Colorado State Ram and was signed by the Broncos earlier this month due to injuries to the team’s offensive line.