ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that sources close to the Chicago Bears have informed him that the team plans to franchise Matt Forte following the 2011 season.
Talks between the two sides have been unproductive to say the least which has left some concern about Forte’s future with the team. Chicago is said to be concerned about paying him a high salary but the franchise tag will end up being more costly in the immediate future than signing him would likely be.
Previous reports indicated that the Bears had offered him a deal that include guarantees between $13 million to $14 million which is a laughable amount considering what the top-five running backs have received.
Forte discussed the possibility that the team may use their franchise tag on him by mentioning that he would feel undervalued if they choose to do so.
“That’s not something I’m looking forward to,” said Forte while appearing on “Rome is Burning.” “I don’t want a one-year deal. I want a long-term extension. I think if they use the franchise tag that’s kind of a cheap way to go out. That’s not what I’m looking forward to. I want a long-term extension. I’ve been drafted by Chicago. I want to stay there so it’s not something I’m looking forward to.”
Chicago could be playing with fire as Forte has been by far their most productive player and one of the games best weapons at the position. A franchise may work for them but it may drive Forte away from re-signing with the team at a later point down the road.
“Everybody who is doing anything no matter what you’re doing if you’re working and doing an exceptional job you want your boss to kind of notice that and not a pat on the back but compensate you for what you’re doing,” Forte said. “That’s in anything you’re doing. It kind of makes you feel undervalued.”