In his three seasons in Chicago, Henry Melton has turned heads. The one-time running back has turned into a versatile defender, but one who doesn't have a long-term contract with the Bears. If he doesn't get one by Monday, he'll play under the franchise tag the Bears slapped on him in March.
The Chicago Tribune reports a long-term deal happening over the weekend is unlikely. Melton is not too worried about it.
"I can only control what I can control, and that's my performance on the field," Melton said. "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."
The problem will be for the Bears if Melton has another memorable year. It will drive up Melton's price tag, and make him more difficult to keep around. Over the past two seasons, he's had 13 sacks and 83 tackles. Most teams would want an interior defensive lineman with that kind of versatility.
A long-term deal would not just make sense for Melton, but for the Bears.