When Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton needed to be carted off of the field last night against the Pittsburgh Steelers, it was not a situation that was going to see a positive outcome for the Chicago Bears.
On Monday, it was confirmed that Melton suffered a torn ACL on Sunday and will miss the remainder of the season for the Bears.
In the off-season, after a season in where Melton was a pro-bowl defensive lineman, the Bears opted to give the defensive tackle the franchise tag. Unfortunately for Melton and the Bears, this is the downside of the franchise tag. Melton will now earn the full $8.45 million of the franchise tag this season but his next contract will be short of expectations.
The Bears are expected to move quickly in replacing Melton. The expectation is that the Bears will sign a free agent and among the free agent defensive linemen available that have connections to the Bears are Matt Toeaina, Antonio Garay, and Amobie Okeye.
Melton, who has 13 sacks for the Bears since 2011, has recorded 5 tackles on the 2013 season.
In the short-term, expect Nate Collins to replace Melton on the team’s starting defense.