The Chicago Bears off-season begins today and all the players are there besides running back Matt Forte. Of course, that’s not shocking because Forte still wants a long-term contract and does not want to sign the franchise tag tender. If Forte wanted to participate in today’s voluntary workout, he would have to signed the franchise tag.
The Bears and Forte have until July 16th to reach a long-term contract. That’s the deadline to negotiate a multi-year contract. However, the player and the team can negotiate a contract through out the season. But the player will get the deal of the franchise tag. If no deal is reached by then, the player can chose to holdout and not play in the season.
If you don’t remember, Matt Forte would made good money on the 1-year franchise tag … he will make 7.7 million. That’s not a bargain by any measure.
The Bears do have insurance at running back as they have Michael Bush, Kahlil Bell (has not officially signed 1-year contract, but should soon) and RB Harvey Unaga (whom was just reinstated from reserve/left squad list today).
Lovie Smith made up a good point as he said; “this is the time long-term contracts are are worked on hard and completed”.
Matt Forte is not the only notable player that did not show up to the voluntary workouts today … QB Drew Brees and RB Ray Rice did not either. WR Wes Welker didn’t either; however, he’s expected to show up very soon. If that’s signing the franchise tag or reaching a long-term contract. That’s still to be determine.
Like I’ve said in all my Matt Forte articles, I expect the Bears and Forte to reach a long-term contract at some point.