The Chicago Tribune considers it a "good bet" the Bears will franchise tag free agent DT Henry Melton if a long-term deal cannot be reached before the March 4 deadline to apply the tag.
Franchise tags can officially be applied on Monday. The Bears used their 2012 tag as a means toward locking up Matt Forte long term. They could do the same with Melton, who is a crucial puzzle piece as an interior pocket collapser. The defensive tackle franchise number is $8.3 million. Before the tag is applied, the Bears figure to meet with Melton's agent at next week's Scouting Combine.