Like all the teams who used the franchise tag, the Bears have until Monday to reach a long-term deal with their guys.
And while defensive tackle Henry Melton said there’s been some “chatter” between his agent and the Bears, he’s not sweating the outcome of the negotiations, having already signed his one-year offer for a guaranteed $8.45 million.
“I can only control what I can control, and that’s my performance on the field,” Melton said, via Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune. “It’s kind of like when you have strong feelings for a place — you want to stay there long term. Of course you want to get something done, but it’s pretty much out of my hands.”
The Bears reached a deal with tagged running back Matt Forte on deadline day last year, so there’s some precedent for a late run at Melton.
But even if he plays it out and becomes an unrestricted free agent next year, Melton said the talks won’t change his approach.
“Some guys get money and stop caring about their performance. That’s not in my blood,” Melton said. “I’m a competitor in everything, don’t back down to anything. I’ve always felt like I’ve had to play like I have something to prove, regardless of the circumstances.”
He played nice by signing the tender and showing up for all the offseason workouts, and now has the weekend to see if the Bears are willing to repay that consideration.