By Adam Hoge-
(CBS) As expected, Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton will play under the one-year franchise tag the Bears placed on him earlier in the offseason.
Melton confirmed to the Chicago Tribune that he and the Bears did not come to terms on a longterm deal prior to Monday’s 3 p.m. deadline. As a result, Melton will earn $8.45 million this season and could become a free agent in the offseason. The Bears will have the opportunity to place the franchise tag on him again next year or work out a longterm deal with the defensive tackle.
The Bears could have lowered Melton’s 2013 cap hit by working out an extension by Monday, but they still have over $1.6 million in cap space available. Melton was a Pro Bowler in 2012, but also missed two games late in the season and is entering his fifth year in the NFL.
An extension would have carried some risk and 2013 will now serve as another contract year for Melton.
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.