The deadline to reach a long-term contract agreement with players that have been slapped with the franchise tag is this coming Monday. Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton is one of those players helping for a long-term deal, but he has said that he doesn’t concern himself with the things that are out of his hands. One of those things is his contract negotiations.
Melton’s agent and the Bears have had some discussion, but they will have to ramp up their negotiations if they want to get a deal done by Monday. If not, Melton will do what he has done since being designated the franchise player and that is suit up and perform.
“I can only control what I can control, and that’s my performance on the field,” Melton said, via Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune. “It’s kind of like when you have strong feelings for a place — you want to stay there long term. Of course you want to get something done, but it’s pretty much out of my hands.”
Melton has been a model citizen for the team since he was hit with the tag.
He put ink to paper and signed the one-year, $8.45 million offer and he is shown up for all of the team’s offseason workouts.
If the Bears choose to reward Melton, it would be a well deserved deal. If not, he will enter unrestricted free agency next offseason and could finally find that deal he is searching for, but don’t think that will change his approach to the season.
“Some guys get money and stop caring about their performance. That’s not in my blood,” Melton said. “I’m a competitor in everything, don’t back down to anything. I’ve always felt like I’ve had to play like I have something to prove, regardless of the circumstances.”
It was just last year that the Bears gave running back Matt Forte a long-term deal on the deadline, so there is some hope that Melton can secure a big contract before heading in to camp.