Henry Melton of the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys 2013 breakout star Jason Hatcher are two of the league’s best pass rushing defensive tackles, and they are both set to receive solid contracts on the open market. Although Hatcher isn’t as good as Melton, the fact that Melton tore his ACL early last season means that the Cowboys DT will likely receive the bigger contract. He’s definitely ready to break the bank and receive a massive payday, whereas Melton will likely be priced out of the Bears range.
Last season, Desmond Bryant was the best pass rushing defensive tackle on the open market, and he received major interest before signing a lucrative deal with the Cleveland Browns. The same sort of process will happen to both Melton and Hatcher, especially since both players are already receiving major interest.
ESPN Dallas’s Calvin Watkins reports that seven or eight teams are interested in Hatcher, who has an excellent 6’6″, 299 pound frame and recorded a whopping 11 sacks last season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are reportedly among the teams interested, and a bidding war is on the horizon.
Meanwhile, ESPN Chicago’s Michael C. Wright reports that Melton has “multiple suitors” and “fully intends to test” the open market. Neither bit of news is surprising, and it will be interesting to see how many years the 27-year-old gets.