Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton’s contract expires after this season and he’s put himself in position to cash in with a big payday with his play this season.
Melton has been stout against the run while continuing to provide strong pressure in the passing game of Chicago’s defense. That’s left him feeling awfully good about where he stands in the league.
“We’re still playing the 4-3 … there is not another better D-tackle in the league than myself,” Melton said, via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. “I feel like that.”
Geno Atkins of the Bengals (or those who have watched Atkins this season) might disagree with that assessment, but Melton’s got every reason to feel good about the work he’s turned in over the last couple of years. Whether he’s franchised or works out a long-term deal, it’s very difficult to imagine the Bears letting him go after this season.
There are more important issues on the table right now than Melton’s future contract, though. First among them is his health heading into Sunday’s absolute must-win game for the Bears.
Melton missed last week’s loss because of a clavicle injury and the Bears could really use his presence against the Cardinals this weekend. Melton has been able to participate in practice the last two days, which is a good sign that he’ll be able to play and continue staking his claim to the top spot in the league at his position.