Chicago Sun-Times

Lovie: Matt Forte absence at mini-camp 'not an issue'

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It was no surprise that unsigned running back Matt Forte did not attend the first day of the Bears' mini-camp Tuesday at Halas Hall. The mini-camp is mandatory only for players under contract, and Forte has yet to sign the $7.7 million offer as the Bears' ''franchise'' player.

Bears coach Lovie Smith was particularly circumspect when asked about Forte after practice Tuesday.

''I can't speculate on that,'' Smith said. ''I'm having a blast coaching the guys who are here right now. It doesn't do any good to speculate on things like that.''

Does he expect Forte to be in training camp, which begins July 26 in Bourbonnais?

''I wouldn't speculate on that,'' Smith said. ''When he shows up, we'll be ready to coach him up then.''

The chronically unflappable Smith was able to fend off inquiries about the Pro Bowl running back at mini-camp, but it might be tougher to avoid the distraction if Forte extends his holdout into training camp.

''It's not an issue for me and it can't be,'' Smith said. ''During the course of the year you have guys who aren't here for whatever reason. You coach the guys who can go, who can practice. We've been spending all our time with that.

''I know Matt Forte. I'm sure he's getting ready to go. But in the meantime, the best thing we can do for the Chicago Bears is just keep this train going, which we've done.''

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In my opinion, Chicago needs to give Matt Forte a deal. Forte has already came out and said he doesn't want to be the leagues highest paid back. I don't understand what the problem is? Pay the guy. Matt Forte is a Pro-Bowl running back, pay him accordingly.

Matt Forte is the best running back on the roster. Michael Bush is solid and could get the job done, but his 3 yard average left something to be desired, Forte had a 4 yard average with Chicago's line, no excuses there. Forte is the better back. Again, nothing against Bush, Forte is just more of a "big play" type.

I think Forte will be in camp, I just hope its under contract GO BEARS!!

Kevin...I think forte needs to come to his senses and sign a deal versus the bears "giving" him a deal... Can't remember what show it was on but I heard forte wants 24 million guaranteed ... If that is the case then forte is asking for too much and I agree with the bears not to give it to him... I think his contract should be less than McCoy's maybe 19 m guaranteed.... Yes..forte is a pro bowler but his game does have some holes in it...bears do pay for quality but they shouldn't over pay for it..

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on June 12, 2012 6:53 PM.

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