“We’d like to (work out a long-term deal with Forte),” said Phillips while appearing on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000. “But as Phil pointed out we obviously will at least consider placing the franchise tag on him. We don’t have any intention of letting Matt hit the open market. We’ll sit down with him privately, Phil will, and discuss what the plans are prior to the Feb. 20 franchise tag date.”
Forte was able to participate in last weekend’s Pro Bowl which is certainly a positive sign for his future status. Still, the two sides have been reported to be pretty far apart in previous discussions but that was with Jerry Angelo in place as the team’s GM. Phil Emery has since taken over so it’s safe to assume that they’re approach will be altered.
Forte has previous said that he’d rather get a long-term deal done rather than play under the tag but from what the Bears front office are suggesting, it would only be a temporary move.