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Bears Will Franchise DT Henry Melton If A Long-Term Deal Isn’t Reached

Brad Biggs tweets that impending free agent DT Henry Melton will be franchised by the Bears if they’re unable to come to a long-term agreement before the March 4 deadline.

The two sides are expected to meet at the Combine this Saturday to discuss a contract.

Melton, 26, is a fairly obvious candidate for the designation given that he represents the best interior lineman available in this year’s free agent class. While he’s only put together two standout seasons for the Bears, he’s clearly an impact player worthy of a large extension.

Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 7 best defensive tackle in league this season and we have Melton listed as the No. 5 best available player in our Top 50 Free Agents list.

pixy Bears Will Franchise DT Henry Melton If A Long-Term Deal Isn't Reached

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Paul Frano
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Thats over 8 mill cap hit that will never happen not worth that number

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Certainly adding $8 million to their cap isn’t an ideal situation, but neither is losing a solid young player to free agency. Applying the tag would essentially buy them some extra time to negotiate a long-term contract. Yes, they would take a hit in the time being, but they could save some extra cash by renegotiating a few contracts like Charles Tillman and Julius Peppers make the math work.

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