Bears give Henry Melton the franchise tag

The Bears have elected to give defensive tackle Henry Melton the franchise tag, Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday night.

Not long after Jensen’s report, Melton wrote on Twitter, “Good to be a Bear for another year hopefully we can get a long-term deal done soon! #BearDown #FranchiseTag.” Later Friday night, the Bears confirmed they had used the tag on the fourth-year defensive tackle from Texas.

Melton, 26, has made an impact as a pass rusher for Chicago, notching a combined 13 sacks in each of the last two seasons. According to, the non-exclusive franchise tag for a defensive tackle is worth $8.45 million in 2013. It’s unclear whether Melton received the exclusive or non-exclusive tag.

The Bears join the Broncos (Ryan Clady), Bills (Jairus Byrd), Colts (Pat McAfee) and Bengals (Michael Johnson) as clubs to have used the franchise tag this offseason.

31 responses to “Bears give Henry Melton the franchise tag

  1. he doesn’t have 13 sacks in “each of the last two seasons”, he has 13 sacks total over the last two seasons. math is hard.

  2. He definitely didn’t complain and Ill bet he shows up on time. Has potential to be better than Tommie Harris during his big stretch. Even though Emery wasn’t a Bear than, he knows what happened to Harris after he got paid. Plus, if someone wants to sign him, Bears would glady take two picks. Just wont happened. Could they have put restrict tag (like Wallace last year-1st round tender?) and have had option to match?

  3. OK great start. now re-sign Lance Louis (Bears only above average lineman), get Levitre from Buffalo (Amazing versatility, and Jermod Bushrom to come play with his line coach or convince Andre Smith he will pay LT to leave Cincy. Worst case sign Jake Long (have to take a risk there and will be overpriced ) and we will start getting this ship right. Oline LT Bushrom/Smith/ or Long. LG Levitre, Garza (one more year), RG Lance Louis RT winner of Carimi ( I still think he has a chance at RT ) and Webb. Swing tackle the loser and James Brown(like his upside) as a multi talent back up.
    Izzy and Brian would come back on deals and should. Have to go young at SLB (sorry Roach it’s been real. Thanks for your service and good luck) and nickle back (I would like to see D.J. Moore one more year with the new coaches but doubt it) Tight end will be rookie or Evan Rodriguez ( loved him at FB but I’m intrigued what he can be getting the ball more ). Possibly a younger reclaim talent like Dustin Keller? Still should save money there. Might as well cut Kellen Davis now. Too inconsistent. Probably have to save money at backup QB but a Josh McCown (Vet Minimum) and a draft pick to mold for your coach could work for me. Worst case Trestman could bring his QB from CA down as insurance haha.
    I think it’s doable with the salary cap to look for something like this. Especially with the ace in the hole of a restructure of Peppers contract saving millions. If cuts/trades be needed Hester can go and take all of his cap hit with him (Best returner in history but his star is fading and head isn’t right)
    Sorry more thinking out loud with my fingers

  4. @qbofnever – don’t let radio personalities dictate your opinion. Solid move and a necessary one. Pass rushing defensive linemen don’t grow on trees, you would’ve missed him if he left.

  5. @muskyhunter, your name implies Packers fan. That said, can’t wait to drive up to Vilas County for some musky action this summer!

  6. Sooooooooooooo refreshing to see a player not complain about being franchised. If Dashon Goldson was smart he would take the franchise tag, but obviously he doesnt care about winning, just the money. Thats meain problem in todays NFL. He can go be like Mario Williams and leave a great team to chase the money all the way to a pile of crap.

  7. I like it. Sure it’s a lot for 1 year, but it gives both sides a little longer to make their case as to their imagined contract totals

  8. Not to take anything away from Melton – who as a Bears fan I like a lot – but it’s easy to show some humility when you aren’t a guy that people are going to crown one of the 5 best “defensive tackles” (which includes NTs) in the game of football.

    Again, like him as a player, but he probably benefits from Peppers more than the other way around, and he hasn’t had the kind of impact that Tommie Harris did in 2005. Not sure if you’d actually pay him more than $7 mil/year, much less 8.45

  9. If you are saying who on this, you are an idiot. with that said, He is a solid player that should have been re-signed but not franchised in my opinion….by the way, I am a Steelers fan and I know Henry Melton….probably because I am actually a football fan.

  10. @boysofzimmer – I don’t listen to talk radio bud…or ESPN. Bears have already given franchise money to Peppers who makes Melton appear better than he is. Bears have one LB on the roster and need at least 3 OL upgrades and a vertical passing threat…and they need to sign their rookies. This move leaves them with about $3.5 mil under the cap I believe. Melton is good but not tag worthy. The new NFL requires a passing game….Bears don’t have one. Stick to the fishing.

  11. The article fails to mention that this signing puts the bears right up against the cap. Unless they do some restructures on some players then the Bears will not have the $$$ to sign any decent free agents. Melton is a good player, but definitely over-valued at almost 9 million. He is a consistently good, but not great lineman. If he was dominant we would know it by now, he isn’t. We will see how this one works out.

  12. lol @ the “we saw what happened to tommie harris when he got paid” comment.

    uh he had a pre existing degenerative knee condition? blame angelo for that blunder not harris.

  13. Bears give Henry Melton the franchise tag

    Let’s change that headline to …

    Bears give Henry Melton “the finger”

  14. Well, they sure weren’t gonna franchise anybody on that offensive line. Might as well keep the defense.

  15. @donkeydrew- nobody in/around Chicago said anything about Harris knee when he was signed. If I remember right, everyone was on board and happy. It was big money than. Either way, Besrs still need to do some restructuring or they’re in a bind. At least if they want to sign more players.

  16. I have faith in Emery, and have little doubt that they will sign him to a three or four year deal before the deadline.

    And whether it’s Pep drawing extra attention or the CB’s doing their job, it is irrelevant. This kid has a ton of talent, and pass rushing interior D-Lineman do not grow on trees.

  17. Ok,got a question with this tag the bears get compensation if another team out bids them ? And if this is the case can they withdraw the tag if no other team claims him. Which would mean there just doing this to get something for him . I’d look this myself but figure someone here already knows

  18. sizeless24 says: Mar 2, 2013 12:06 AM

    “P@boobschannel apparently reading is hard for you. they said he has a combined 13 sacks in each of the last two seasons. Nub”

    The original sentence is poorly worded and misleading…How ’bout “He has 13 sacks combined over the last two seasons?”

  19. Great move by the Bears, and classy response by Melton…I hope they can now get that long-term deal done.

    Now it’s time for somemassive restructering/cuts to free up more cap space.

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