ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte has no intentions of participating in any of the team’s offseason programs until his contract is addressed.
“He’s not signing anything until he has a long-term deal,” said Schefter while appearing on this morning Sportcenter. “And until he has that … you will not see Matt Forte in Chicago.”
It’s hard to say that he would have taken this approach had the Bears not signed Michael Bush during free agency, but the contract negotiations between the two parties had already become contentious by then. Forte will have even less leverage next season, as the Bears will most likely limit his overall usage in 2012. Even if he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2013, there’s no guarantee that someone is going to pay him like a featured running back so holding out now is clearly his best option at obtaining a reasonable contract.
Whether Chicago is willing to give into to his demands is another story, but this figures to be a story that should carry on throughout the summer.