In 2012, the Bears and running back Matt Forte reached agreement on a long-term deal just before the deadline for players with franchise tags to sign such contracts with their teams.
It doesn’t look like history will be repeating itself with defensive tackle Henry Melton. Ed Werder of ESPN reports that there will be no multi-year pact for Melton by Monday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline and that he will play out the year for the $8.45 million he guaranteed himself by signing his franchise tender earlier this offseason.
Melton said recently that there’s been some “chatter” between the team and his agent about a longer deal, but it seems that chatter never developed to the point where the two sides could agree on the framework for an extension of their working relationship. If things remain that way for the next few hours, Melton will be set to become a free agent again after the season.
With 13 sacks over the last two seasons from the interior of the line and an ideal mix of size and speed for the defensive tackle position, Melton will have a good chance to cash in with another productive season for the Bears. Whether or not he’d be cashing in for the Bears will wind being a question for next offseason, however.
UPDATE 11:02 a.m. ET: Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune spoke to Melton, who confirmed that he won’t be signing a long-term deal before the deadline.