Henry Melton has “no clue” if he’ll return to Bears

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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.

5 responses to “Henry Melton has “no clue” if he’ll return to Bears

  1. Melton was a productive player before he was injured but honestly if I was Emry I would not over spend on him. Guys like Melton who rush the 3 technique require quickness and burst and who knows if he’ll ever get all the way back from the ACL injury. Also he was a guy that fit Lovie’s Tampa 2 system so he might not fit the scheme changes Chicago is going to make. I’d offer him a deal but nothing crazy. I’d rather draft younger guys for the line and spend more to keep Tillman.

  2. The Bears need Melton back. While it wasn’t just due to his absence, when he was not on the field this defense struggled to even maintain gap responsibility. He may not be a big name like Atkins, but is a huge part to the Bears defense.

  3. Melton and Tillman…hopefully 2 future Bucs that can provide that veteran precense and help the new young guys learn the system.

  4. After taking $8.45 mil in 2013 for no on-field production and a DUI while in rehab, Phil Emery should offer Melton either a $2 mil 1-year “make good” deal or $5.5 mil spread over 3 seasons. With either offer, Emery should fervently hope the guy walks.

    Melton made his bones by looking good against Angelo’s offensive line in practice but consistently proved to be slower than molasses on game day.

  5. I am glad the Bears aren’t “tagging’ him, a waste of money. Offer him an incentive loaded contract, but no longer than 2-3 years. If he can get back to level, extend him, if not, it isn’t a big hit on the cap and let him go

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