For an NFL team, coming to the scouting combine can be a little like visiting an automobile showroom.

Flashy, pricey things are on display that catch eyes.

Many are veterans with expiring contracts. Many are players who will be drafted in April.

But before the Bears can consider any of them, they have to deal with the players who already have been on their roster. And that really is the most urgent part of the next five days for general manager Phil Emery.

He can't go on a shopping spree until he knows how much cap money and cash he has to spend, and he can't know that until he resolves what to do with some of his players.

His most pressing issue is the expiring contract of defensive tackle Henry Melton. The Bears don't want to allow Melton to hit the open market because if that happens he could get stupid money.

So their options are to get him to sign a long-term contract, probably at a price with which they are somewhat uncomfortable, or to put the franchise tag on him.

That would cost $8.3 million, all of which would count against the 2013 salary cap. The Bears are believed to have about $11 million available.

Franchising Melton wouldn't leave them with much in their pockets for those flashy new things.

And Melton is not their only concern. If they lose potential free agents Lance Louis, Jonathan Scott, Nick Roach, Israel Idonije and Brian Urlacher, they will need to find starters to replace them.

Asked about Louis, Scott and Idonije on Thursday, Emery indicated he will attempt to retain all three. He also said he intended on talking with Urlacher's agent.

Of Louis, who is coming off knee surgery, he said, "Lance has been very diligent at his rehab and we're pleased with his progress."

Of Scott, he said, "He added positively to our group. He helped us win games."