His contract situation should be the highest priority, given the young Pro Bowl defensive tackle would be a hot commodity if he were to become an unrestricted free agent March 12. The Bears had discussions with Melton's representatives during the season about an extension but could not come to an agreement. His value could change some depending on the new scheme, but whatever the scheme, it's likely Melton will have some appeal to the new staff. If a contract agreement proves elusive over the next couple of months, look for the Bears to use the franchise tag on Melton at an expected cost of about $8.01 million.
Scott Strazzante, Chicago Tribune