As the 2009 4th round pick heads into the final year of his rookie contract, Henry Melton and the Bears are reportedly not discussing an extension and are not expected to do so before or during the season. Melton had a strong season in 2011, ranking 17th among defensive tackles on ProFootballFocus and 6th as a pass rusher. He managed 7 sacks, 9 quarterback hits, and 23 quarterback pressures on 437 pass rush snaps as a rotational player (8.9%) last year.
The former collegiate defensive end (and running back) wasn’t great against the run, but he’s still a good player and a good fit for the Bears’ scheme. He’s also expected to play some fullback this year in a “Refrigerator” Perry type role. He didn’t do much in the past before last season so I understand the Bears’ hesitance to sign him long term at the moment. They don’t want to buy high and they might have the franchise tag available for him next offseason (if it isn’t used on Brian Urlacher).