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Bears put franchise tag on Henry Melton

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - The Chicago Bears have placed a franchise tag on Pro Bowl defensive tackle Henry Melton.

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In a statement Friday, General Manager Phil Emery said Melton has been a good player for the Bears and the team is using the franchise tag ``so his development continues as a Bear.''

Emery said the team will work with Melton to reach a multi-year agreement. The deadline for reaching a contract agreement is July 15. If an agreement isn't reached, Melton will play next season for $8.45 million.

The 26-year-old Melton was a fourth-round draft pick out of Texas in 2009. He started his Longhorn career as a running back, but moved to defensive tackle.

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