Found June 04, 2012 on
Lost in all the Matt Forte and Brian Urlacher free agent talk is the player who might be the most important player on the Bears defense over the next decade, Henry Melton. Lovie Smith has stated publicly that the three technique DT is the most important position in his Tampa-2 defense and Henry Melton fills that role. Melton is also a free agent after the 2012 season and if he duplicates his 2011 performance or even improves upon it, his stock will go up dramatically.
Melton had seven sacks last year and was the second most productive pass rushing DT in the NFL last year behind only Geno Atkins. Melton showed flashes in his first full year playing in 2010 and was talked up prior to the 2011 season and did not disappoint. In only his second full year playing, his first full year starting Melton had 34 quarterback pressures to go with the seven sacks.
So the question now becomes why haven't we heard any talk about a Henry Melton extension? Why aren't the Bears getting a deal done with one of their best young rising stars on defense before his price tag jumps astronomically?
In addition to needed to extend Melton for financial reasons, the Bears need to extend him for depth purposes. The defensive tackle position only has three competent players on the roster at the moment after the loss of Amobi Okoye and the release of Anthony Adams.
The policy in the Chicago has always been to wait until the off-season before a player enters their final contract year to discuss contract extensions, and it was only violated once in the case of Devin Hester. Melton is in that time frame where he should be extended before the start of training camp. Melton signed the typical four year deal that draft picks selected after round one receive and is in the final year of his deal.
We know the importance of Brian Urlacher to the Bears as a future hall of famer, but Urlacher is 34-years-old and has maybe as much as three more years left as a top player. We know the importance of Matt Forte to the Bears given his success and production in Chicago. Running backs are a dime a dozen, and their importance is even less important now than it was a decade ago. Those two topics have already been covered extensively, now the Bears must make a move to sign Henry Melton to a contract extension.
Melton is the number one priority right now and the Bears should act like it. Pass rushing DTs are an extremely rare commodity and the Bears currently have on of the best in the NFL who will only get better.
BEST OF MAXIM
The mantra of the Bears has been that these next two seasons is about winning a championship that Lovie Smith faces a playoffs or bust year. Smith must win to save his job or he will be entering the final year of his contract as a lame duck head coach. The Bears were defending NFC North champions and played in the NFC title game in 2010 and 7-3 before Jay Cutler went down. ...
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Film work and commentary on Chicago Bears wide receiver Devin Hester from the most recent OTA practice session.
Our second round of film work and commentary on Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall from the most recent OTA practice session.
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Special teams play has been described as the “third phase”, a complimentary but necessary component for NFL title contenders. The Chicago Bears have always valued those players, and this year has been no exception, evidenced by General Manager Phil Emery’s offseason spree which netted special teams standouts Blake Constanzo, Eric Weems, and Devin Thomas. To be sure, the Bears title [...]
The Chicago Bears and General Manager Phil Emery have announced the organizational structure of the Player Personnel Department.
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So where do the 2012 Bears stack up? Hit the jump and...