Matt Forte Not Likely to Show up in Chicago Without Long-Term Deal
Matt Forte was slapped with the franchise tag before the start of free agency this year. Forte is yet to sign his $7.7 million franchise tender, because he wants a long-term deal.
Chicago Bears’ president and CEO Ted Phillips told the Chicago Sun-Times on March 26th, “I think not only do we appreciate him and have told him so, but I think the offer we’ve made him shows that, too. Now, different people can disagree on the ultimate value, but we feel we’ve made a strong offer to him, and are still hopeful he accepts it.”
According to ProFootballTalk.com, that offer (amount and years unidentified) remains on the table.
Forte likely remains hesitant to sign said contract, because of the newly acquired Bears running back Michael Bush. When Forte got word of the four-year $14 million dollar contract, he tweeted, “There’s only so many times a man that has done everything he’s been asked to do can be disrespected! Guess the GOOD GUYs do finish last.”
Forte later clarified his tweet by saying, “For the record I’m not mad at the signing of another running back. This is 4th time that’s happened. I embrace competition as well as help.”
It seems as though Forte just wants to have some job security. A four or five year contract with a lot of money involved could prove to Forte he is still the Bears’ guy. However, it seems as though the Bears have already made that promise.
“Matt Forte is our No. 1 running back. He’s been told that, and he knows that. We all know that. He’s going to be a Bear for 2012, at least,” Phillips told the Chicago Sun-Times in late March. “He knows he has a long-term offer on the table, and we hope, at some point and time, he chooses to accept that.”
Until Forte signs a long-term deal that he wants, it seems unlikely he will attend the Bears’ voluntary practices which start on Monday.
“The word is that he’s not going to be [there], but that’s just rumors,” Cutler said on WMVP Radio, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “I know it’s going to be hard for Matt to not be there. I think he’s pretty disappointed at how things have gone. But it’s a business for both sides. The Bears have to do what’s best for them in the long run. Matt has to do what’s best for him in the long run.”
It isn’t to big of a deal for a player to skip voluntary workouts, but this could go on until July 15th (the deadline for singing franchise tags). At that point, he would have missed the team’s full offseason workout schedule and the mandatory minicamp in June. It seems as if this could turn into a standoff, but as Adam Schefter of ESPN said on SportsCenter Wednesday, “[Forte] is not signing anything until he has a long-term deal.” Also, that he wont be in Chicago until he signs that deal.
The 6-2, 218 pound, 26-year-old out of Tulane, that rushed for 997 yards, three touchdowns, and had 490 receiving yards with one touchdown, deserves a long-term deal and the Bears should offer him one. He is a key component to the offense both in the rushing and receiving game.