Melton, Tillman not ex-Bears yet

Melton, Tillman not ex-Bears yet
March 13, 2014, 6:45 pm
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The owner of a bar in Grapevine, Texas from which Henry Melton was allegedly physically forced to leave is now suing the Bears free agent defensive tackle. But general manager Phil Emery says that hasn’t shut the door on Melton re-signing with the club, for now.

“It’s been an ongoing issue in terms of that coming to conclusion, and that’s all I can talk about it,” Emery said Thursday. “In terms of evaluating Henry the player, that’s separate from that. On the field is one thing, in terms of evaluation, off-the-field is the other. It is all part of it, but that’s a legal issue, and that’s all I need to say about that.”

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Surveillance video from the bar was released by WFAA-TV in Dallas showing a patron being forcibly removed from Chill Sports Bar and Grill and a punch later being thrown. The owner alleges Melton bit him, and the defensive tackle was later charged with assault and public intoxication. Melton had a legal team also interviewing witnesses that night, preparing a lawsuit of his own. The owner is reportedly suing Melton for a sum “greater than one million dollars,” claiming to have been bitten through the skin, near his kidney, while also suffering psychological damage.

Melton visited with the Vikings Thursday, and Emery said there have been no further talks with him, though what the Bears can afford is changing with each signing.

“He’s still got some teams to visit, and that’s where we left it with Jordan (Woy, Melton’s agent). He was going to go through this process and when he got through it and got a pretty good idea of what his market was, we could talk at that time. Of course, the clock’s ticking and our resources and what we have at that time will have changed, but we’ll see where we’re at when that’s all finished.”

As for Charles Tillman, who left Tampa Bay without a contract following a visit, but whom Emery has expressed a desire to re-sign, the general manager said, “No different than (Wednesday), it’s an ongoing process.”