Chicago Sun-Times

Matt Forte "optimistic" about long-term deal with Bears

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Bears Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte didn't reveal much during an interview with ESPN Friday.

But, he told ESPN's Adam Schefter that he was "optimistic" that a long-term deal could be reached before Monday's deadline.

"I'm a very optimistic guy," Forte told Schefter. "So going into this weekend, I'm very optimistic that it'll get done and say my prayers and everything."

Asked how challenging his contract status has been, Forte said, "It gets irritating because it's all I've been hearing about.

"Just look forward and be optimistic about getting this deal done. Hopefully, both sides can come to a middle ground."

There was one awkward moment. Schefter asked Forte what would happen if there was no deal by Monday.

"I think we all know," Forte said.

Schefter asked again, and Forte just shook his head.

Schefter asked if Forte wouldn't show up to training camp, and Forte again declined to answer.

If a deal isn't consummated by Monday, Forte will have to play the 2012 season for the franchise tender of $7.7 million. That's certainly not chump change, but Forte obviously would prefer a long-term deal that would guarantee him more than double that amount.

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7 Comments

Boy, I sure wish Bill Holland was still posting here. He used to have Jerry Angelo and Ron Turner on speed dial. Bill told me that Ron Turner allowed him to call the plays on that really bad loss toward the end of 2008 where the play calling really sucked. (I knew it wasn't Ron's fault.)

Anyway, Garrett Wolfe is playing for one of my favorite teams, the Montreal Alouettes. We need to poach him from them. He's a real prize and would make an excellent one-two punch with Michael Bush. (I don't think Forte's coming back.) Okay, maybe not one-two punch, maybe punch and duck. I like that! The Kevin Bumstead Punch and Duck offense. Ohhhh myyyy!

Hopefully a deal can be reached, they're really taking this one down to the wire although, with camp being right around the corner. I hope a deal is reached, it would be better for the team not to have this going into the season. With Forte, the Bears have a Pro-Bowl running back, quarterback in Cutler, and receiver in Brandon Marshall, Chicago's own big 3. Lock up Forte and the Bears will have a heck of a core for the next couple seasons GO BEARS!!

Hub reported that his sources say Forte is looking for 25 mil guaranteed. So he wants more than Foster, although this is probably just a barganing chip. I am sure he would be just fine with Foster money. Intresting quote from Forte on Twitter "Only what we do for the Lord will last." Well that and apperantly heaps of money and fame, cause that is what god is about.

Kevin, punch usually doesn't go very well with duck. Duck, especially with that sweet orange glaze on it, is a sensory overload when combined with Hawaiian punch. Only an absolute sugar addict would be able to handle that. And by the way, how's the Mad Dog 20/20 going for you? You really should attempt to move up to a more discriminating level than bum wines.

Two names Forte should look up in Bears History are Todd Bell & Al Harris. Now I'm not saying we have the '85 Bears again here, but the desperation of the aging defense along with a hungry QB with his favorite receiver and QB coach has the potential to sneak up on a lot of people. While anything can happen, the pendulum could also swing in the Bears' favor...and if they caught lightening in a bottle, I for one would not want to be on the outside looking in.

If Forte doesn't sign, look for this to be his last season as a Bear. The Bears have a LOT of contracts coming up for renewal at the end of the season including Urlacher's, and this is Forte's best chance to take what is being offered.

TBAN,

Although I do appreciate the reference to the 1985 Bears, you can't compare the situation. If the Bears hadn't had the greatest GM in their history drafting out of his mind the previous 3 years, Bell and Harris would have had the leverage. But since there were Marshall and Duerson waiting in the wings, the Bears could play hardball. The only thing that has saved this team is free agency. If there wasn't the ability to bring in Michael Bush or Chester Taylor, Forte would be in a great position.

I am torn with regard to Forte. The analysis of Forte sometimes reminds me of the analysis of Payton. I can remember guys like Cosell and Meredith saying that he didn't have the great "break away speed" like a Dorsett, but I can't ever remember anyone running him down from behind. Same thing with Forte. He has some long runs in his career. Both from handoffs, and also screen passes. Is he a back that does anything elite? No, but he is a back that does a lot of things very well. I would love to see him behind an offensive line that is better than below average at best. It is also going to be interesting to see what Marshall and Jeffery do for Forte. The LB's are going to have to drop a little deeper in coverage and the safeties won't be able to cheat as much. Can't wait.

Gearheadboy

I agree, the situations are different. However the holdout effect had the potential to be the same---leverage or not, had the Bears not signed him and Forte chosen to not play--which was highly unlikely--and the Bears had a terrific year. With him in the fold, the Bears (on paper at least) have just gotten quite a bit scarier.

I will say however that while the LB's will have to drop off more, I think Forte's strength is eluding them at the line and breaking into the secondary. in short, I think the LB's stacked on the line may actually benefit Forte in that his almost patented jab step move is enough to shake a LB at the line, whereas I haven't seen him doing that running full tilt in the secondary where now the LB's might be able to get an angle on him.

Regardless i share your excitement for this season. GO BEARS!

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on July 13, 2012 3:54 PM.

Jay Cutler ranked 8th best quarterback by ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski was the previous entry in this blog.

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