BBAO: Deadline day for Henry Melton

We're Black and Blue All Over:

NFL franchise players saw a little movement over the weekend when the Denver Broncos agreed to a five-year contract worth $52.5 million with offensive lineman Ryan Clady. But if there was any progress on a long-term deal between the Chicago Bears and defensive tackle Henry Melton, it has been kept solidly out of the public view.

The sides have until 4 p.m. ET Monday to come to an agreement. If they do not, Melton will play the season under the terms of a one-year, $8.45 million contract.

We should be careful not to view that outcome as a failure. NFL thought has evolved over the years, especially at positions like defensive tackle where the franchise tag figure isn't onerous, and more teams are letting players go year-to-year. The Bears have a new coaching staff and appear set to have quarterback Jay Cutler go through the season in a contract year. So it shouldn't be surprising if they do the same for a pass-rushing interior tackle.

Continuing around the NFC North: