Chicago Sun-Times

Henry Melton negotiations on a long-term deal start at $18.59 million guaranteed

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Barring a last-minute uptick in negotiations, the Bears will use the franchise tag on Pro Bowl defensive tackle Henry Melton by the Monday afternoon deadline.

By doing so, the Bears give themselves until mid-July to work out a long-term deal, as they did a year ago with Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte.

And many league sources expect a similar contract to tempt Melton. Melton Away.jpg

The Bears, in essence, guaranteed Forte consecutive franchise tenders. To use that same strategy on Melton, the Bears would have to guarantee $18.59 million. The franchise tag for defensive tackles, according to NFL Network, is $8.45 million. If the Bears used it again next offseason, Melton would get 120 percent, or $10.14 million.

But will that be enough for Melton, who is 26 years old?

He just completed his rookie deal, which paid him $565,000 last season. He could command more in free agency, but the Bears aren't likely to let him get there.

So will he pass on an extra $10 million and gamble that he'll have another good season?

Last year, a record 21 teams used the franchise tag. As of Friday afternoon, only one -- the Cincinnati Bengals -- used it. Several others re expected, though, before Monday's 3 p.m. CST deadline.

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7 Comments

This sounds like NFL teams are following the government's lead and putting the future in debt, from which digging themselves out will create a great deal of difficulty. I have trouble grasping the concept of ten million dollars being passed up by any player in these uncertain economic times. actually, the $565,000 he already has received is hard for me to grasp. As a tenured university professor, I would have had to work ten years to earn that much, Of course, university coaches can earn double or triple that much and do not even have to grade papers. "Tis indeed a strange world
we live in as far as economics goes.

Melton is important to what the Bears are trying to do on defense, but if you were a team like the Cowboys, switching to Monte Kiffin's defense, would it be worth it to you to get a 26 year old DT coming into his prime for 2 first round picks? The Cowboys are talented enough to finish in the playoff hunt, so they will be picking in the 20s next year in all likelihood. Or what about the Bengals, who need that interior pass rusher, and have $50 mil in cap space?

There are no spectacular 3 technique tackles in the draft that can do what Melton can do right now.
The Bears need to be aware of what may come talking to Melton with just the tag. So far, no one has gone after franchise tag players in the last few years, but there have been cases where the team has been unable to secure a long term deal, and a team has offered a 1st round and an additional pick for his rights.

Would you take the#18 or #21 pick and a 3rd rounder for Melton? I would.

I agree with you Joe...I think the Bears should trade Melton and I think they could get more than you think.. JAX would be a good partner...from them I'd take their number 1 this year plus two 2s...from Dallas or Cincy I would do the two number ones and a two or three. Not sure if the Bears put the non-exclusive tag or exclusive...if they put the exclusive tag then they must be pretty confident someone would pony up at least 2 #1s; if they got that type of compensation then they could grab that to be elite LT like Fisher or Johnston and in the 2nd or later grab a young DT..maybe even kick Peppers inside more often.id even take those Melton $ and sign Avril or Bennett. It will be interesting to see..Emery gambles as we saw with the Marshall trade..also Trestman called Melton a great asset and he would be if he is used to fill multiple needs.

Also, 8+million for 6 sacks ? That is pretty rich..I think too rich..especially with so many needs on offense and the fact given Peppers and Izzy can probably get close to that production if put at that 3 technique more often.

With respect,

No one is going to give the Bears a "first" and two "seconds" for Henry Melton. Who, as you said, only had 6 sacks last year. Chicago would be lucky to get a "first" and would likely only get a "second" and a "third."

His salary is a bit of an albatross, though. I like your take on a trade possibility. The Bears are deep on the line. Melton is good and had a great year, but man, that's a lot of dough to pay a DT.

Who was that guy the redskins paid 100 million for? My point exactly, there are some positions you pay for and some you move on to the next player. If melton gets a big contract (forte) and doesn't perform well everyone will be calling for Emery's head. Trade him and start building the team the way Pit and NE do, sign only the FA that will put you over the top not drain your money and put you back 5yrs

Estevenj, I think if they decided to trade Melton they could get more...I base that on the fact that they franchised him with the exclusive tag and not the non-exclusive tag..if they were not worried someone would sign Melton there by giving the Bears two number 1s if they chose not to match the offer, why use the exclusive tag then? There is no reason to inmo if they thought no one would give up 2 1s. If you think someone might sign him to an offer sheet and you think 2 #1s is not enough compensation then you put the exclusive franchise tag on him. We will see soon enough..I hope Emery trades him, I think eventually he will.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on March 1, 2013 1:31 PM.

Can Bears afford to make a run at a free-agent offensive tackle? was the previous entry in this blog.

Henry Melton receives franchise tag from Bears is the next entry in this blog.

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