Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton says that he feels about 80-90 percent recovered from torn ACL he suffered last September and has progressed to sprinting during his rehab work at Halas Hall, but he has no idea if he’ll keep working out at the Bears’ facility once free agency opens in March.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Bears have yet to make a contract offer to Melton and are not expected to use the franchise tag on him for the second straight season, which suggests he’ll be talking to other teams when the 72-hour window for negotiations opens on March 8. Players cannot sign with new teams until March 11 and Melton has little inkling of what will happen when that date rolls around.
“I honestly have no clue,” Melton said about the the odds he’ll return to Chicago. “I’ve had positive conversations. It’s kind of like the draft. You have positive conversations with a lot of teams. They like you but you’re definitely not sure until it happens.”
Melton said he’s “all for staying” with the only team he’s played for in the NFL and hopes to end the “stressful” practice of playing year-to-year by signing a long-term contract. While the ACL injury is going to be a concern, Melton’s past production should generate suitors willing to go beyond 2014 in their bids for his services and one of them may be enough to ensure his departure from the Bears.