Contract discussions between the Chicago Bears and RB Matt Forte have been unproductive to say the least but that hasn’t stopped the Bears Forte from producing on Sunday’s.
Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times notes his agent confirmed that “the longer we wait [to negotiate a new contract], the more difficult and complicated it becomes.”
Jenson takes a look at the Bears options for Forte following the season.
“The Bears could put the franchise tag on Forte next offseason and pay him what’s expected to be around $8 million for 2012. But will Forte be as cooperative as he was this last offseason? In addition, with a handful of traditionally aggressive teams struggling to get production at running back, the Bears might have to strike while the proverbial iron is hot before next year’s NFL draft. Depending on how he finishes the season, Forte could net at least a second-round pick, which would allow the Bears to recoup their initial investment in him.”
It’s safe to assume that the Chicago Bears do not value the running back position all that much which is why they have refused to come close to Forte’s asking price. At this point it would seem as though they intend to use their franchise tag on him if a deal cannot be reached. Trading Forte to “recoup their initial investment” would be an unwarranted move considering that he’s only 26 and has been the vocal point of the teams offense for a number of years now. If he were 29 and coming off of a hip injury, like Frank Gore was, and they had a reasonable backup option then it would make sense for them to consider dealing him but his upside far out weighs his risk at this point in time.
Chicago needs to understand that paying their best players allows them to build a nucleus of talent that in turn keeps them competitive. His asking price climbs with each and every game.