Henry Melton signs franchise tender

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Defensive tackle Henry Melton signed his one-year franchise tender with the Bears on Tuesday, the club said.

The move was expected.

Per the CBA, the Bears and Melton have until July 15 t0 work out a long-term contract if they choose to do so.

Melton, 26, notched 44 tackles and six sacks for the Bears in 2012. His pass-rush ability could have made him a popular free agent prospect, but the Bears moved to keep him in the fold.

The non-exclusive franchise-tag salary for defensive tackles in 2013 is $8.45 million.