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Henry Melton's injury shows risk Jairus Byrd faces upon return

Jairus Byrd

Bills safety Jairus Byrd is playing under a one-year contract as the team's franchise player. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News file photo)

Exhibit A as to why NFL players hate the franchise tag can be seen in Chicago, where Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton suffered a torn ACL in his left knee on Sunday night against Pittsburgh, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

Melton, 26, was playing this season on a one-year contract as the Bears' franchise player, a designation that pays him a guaranteed $8.45 million as a defensive tackle. Melton's in his fifth year in the NFL, and coming off his first Pro Bowl season. He's entering the prime of his career, but his earning power for what should be the biggest contract of his life is now significantly in question because of a serious injury.

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