Bears Will Not Allow RB Matt Forte To Test The Market

Chicago Bears president and CEO Ted Phillips discussed the team’s plans for RB Matt Forte on Tuesday by mentioning that they will not allow him to even reach free agency, via ESPN Chicago.

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.


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  1. I read somewhere that Forte will hold out if he is Tagged…Come on Chicago, figure a way to get this thing done..Has anyone heard anything about what he is looking for? Besides the “Elite Status” backs that has been thrown around all season? Is there a number of years or specific money he is looking for?

    • We did post that Forte would holdout consider holding out if tagged but that was during the season when Jerry Angelo was in place as the team’s GM. Since then, the Bears front office seems to be taking a new approach towards Forte. Yes, they’re still considering franchising him but reports have mentioned that they are willing to renegotiate a long-term deal.

      Chicago offered him a reported $13 or $14 million in guarantees earlier in the season which is comparable to the deal that Frank Gore got (four-years, $25.9 million and $13.5 million guaranteed). Forte is worth much more than that and is even younger than Gore. The last three big running back deals were: Chris Johnson (six-year, $55.26 million with $30 million guaranteed) Adrian Peterson (seven-year, $96 million contract with $36 million guaranteed) and DeAngelo Williams (five-year, $43 million with $21 million guaranteed).

      Forte should expect to beat William’s contract but the specifics of his requirements have yet to be reported.

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