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Bears, Forte will meet this weekend

Bears quarterback Cutler hands off to Forte during their game against the San Diego Chargers in the second half of their NFL football game in Chicago Reuters

Contract talks between the Bears and running back Matt Forte will get underway at the combine this weekend.

Albert Breer of the NFL Network reports that the team and Forte’s representatives will discuss a long-term contract in advance of Forte becoming a free agent. Forte’s made no secret of his desire for such a deal over the last year, but nothing happened while Jerry Angelo was the team’s General Manager. These will be the first meetings on the topic since Phil Emery replaced Angelo earlier this month.

Coach Lovie Smith said Thursday that he expects the two sides to come to a deal.

“Knowing that Matt is going to play his football for the Chicago Bears — so you start with that,” Smith said, via Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times. “In time, hopefully we can get an agreement that suits Matt and [the Bears]. And I think it’s a matter of time, and that’ll happen eventually.”

If the two sides can’t come to a deal before March 5th, it seems unlikely that Forte will actually hit the open market. Franchising Forte would cost the team $7.7 million, a number that works given their expected cap space while leaving them money to address needs at wide receiver and the offensive line as well.

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16 Responses to “Bears, Forte will meet this weekend”
  1. bearsrulepackdrool says: Feb 24, 2012 10:33 AM

    Thank You!

  2. h3min1230 says: Feb 24, 2012 10:35 AM

    Just pay the man. Dudes a beast! If they play hard ball with him, I don’t see how any of the FA recievers would want to play there.

  3. briggsisbrokeagain says: Feb 24, 2012 10:35 AM

    Get it done Mr. Emery, it would be a great first significant achievement of his career as Bears G.M.

  4. renaissanceman87 says: Feb 24, 2012 10:44 AM

    He’s a good player… amazing to see the evolution of top RBs and how they get paid in the modern NFL. It’s pretty much a given that most of these guys never have an effective season (1,200+ yards, 10+ touchdowns, 35 catches) once they hit 30 or 31…

    And with the passing rules, is it really worth spending upwards of $8-10 million on a RB, when you could just pick up 3 or 4 guys and spend 5 million on the whole bunch, and get pretty much the same team-total in RB production, except that it’s not coming from 1 guy… all the while, relying on the arm of your QB to rack up 4,500+ yards and pretty much be the whole offense.

  5. mialto says: Feb 24, 2012 10:51 AM

    Keep in mind we need a OL and WR for that Offense, so yes pay the man but remember there are other needs that must be addressed now not later.

  6. highscoring says: Feb 24, 2012 11:12 AM

    Re-sign Forte, bring in Vincent Jackson, draft a solid OT like Mike Adams and possibly draft a center so Garza can slide over back to guard, but I don’t think Garza is that bad at the center position. 2 other lineman I like in the later rounds are Ryan Miller and Matt Reynolds, Bears should take a look at them. Oh and we need a backup qb.. Russell Wilson anyone???

  7. rjblitz02 says: Feb 24, 2012 11:12 AM

    Bears are meeting Matt Forte?? Sounds dangerous if you ask me.

  8. lolb23 says: Feb 24, 2012 11:21 AM

    Read between the lines. He’ll end up being tagged.

  9. darthsaint says: Feb 24, 2012 11:21 AM

    I hope they pay the man. Forte represents so much of their offense. He has worked hard, he deserves some reward.

    But the NFL seems so positioned these days to replace RBs and not pay them top dollar. It is very interesting to me. When did that shift occur? Seems like only the past 7-8 years where that strategy has become more prevalent.

    I feel bad for RBs in this respect. I’m not sure there is another position in football, that takes a worse physical beating than do RBs. Constant contact like linemen. But when they get hit, most times the defensive player is literally trying to cause harm or inflict the level of hit that causes a fumble. Those types of hits, 25+ per game, take a toll.

  10. rereynol says: Feb 24, 2012 11:51 AM

    Don’t overpay the man. He’s a beast in the open field, yes – but he’s not great when you just have to have that 2 yard carry for a first down. Plus show me the last time a great RB had anything to do with a team winning a super bowl? Put the money where it matters – QB, OL, DL and possibly TE (See GB, NE, NYG, NO). All the other positions are just fillers.

  11. gridassassin says: Feb 24, 2012 12:21 PM

    Yawn… Nothing more than part of the ‘process’. The agent of Forte is probably there for the combine, so they’ll chat.

    Tag the guy twice if he gets greedy. It’s a passing league, Forte is quickly approaching the age of decline (27), and he’s got 8 years of yardage on those legs from Tulane and with the Bears.

    He’s also not in the Martz offense anymore, so there will be a lot more running between the tackles and fewer outlet passes to the RB.

  12. bearsrulepackdrool says: Feb 24, 2012 12:57 PM

    mialto says:Feb 24, 2012 10:51 AM

    Keep in mind we need a OL and WR for that Offense, so yes pay the man but remember there are other needs that must be addressed now not later.
    __________________________

    Priority #1 is MATT FORTE. That is the now. There is no later. The only way we can get players on the OL and WR position is through free agency. Which means if we wait until then to re-sign Forte HE’LL be a free agent and probably a mad one (that the Bears didn’t give him a deal).

    So yea! That need needs to be addressed NOW!

  13. bearsrulepackdrool says: Feb 24, 2012 1:04 PM

    gridassassin says:Feb 24, 2012 12:21 PM

    Yawn… Nothing more than part of the ‘process’. The agent of Forte is probably there for the combine, so they’ll chat.

    Tag the guy twice if he gets greedy. It’s a passing league, Forte is quickly approaching the age of decline (27), and he’s got 8 years of yardage on those legs from Tulane and with the Bears.

    He’s also not in the Martz offense anymore, so there will be a lot more running between the tackles and fewer outlet passes to the RB.

    ______________________

    Have you watched a Bears game? at all?!

    His highest running total was his rookie year (minus Mike Martz)

    He’s put up some pretty decent numbers for his first 4 years in the league. Keep in mind it’s been behind a piss-pour OL.

    For a team that’s been struggling to get some kind (any kind) of offensive identity. I wouldn’t take a way a thing! I’d add as much as possible.

  14. sdwat54 says: Feb 24, 2012 1:22 PM

    Paying Forte good money is really the sensible thing to do, and it’s the fair thing to do.

    He’s a Chicago Bears Running Back – something they have always valued and focused on (to the detriment of other key positions at times) with fervor.

    Yes, it’s a passing league now, but a RB that can catch as well as run in the upper tier of the position league wide is critical to any team’s success, especially a media sensitive one like the Bears.

    They’ll write a fair check, and they should. Forte also is a quality person (we won’t be seeing his mug shot on “The Smoking Gun” anymore than we’ll be seeing Tebow’s), something the McCaskey’s place a high value on.

  15. brennankm46 says: Feb 24, 2012 2:06 PM

    darthsaint says:
    Feb 24, 2012 11:21 AM

    I hope they pay the man. Forte represents so much of their offense. He has worked hard, he deserves some reward.
    _________________________________

    No, he deserves to be payed for how he will perform in the future–not for what he’s done in the past.

  16. johnnyru131 says: Feb 24, 2012 3:46 PM

    Khalil Bell ran for like 120+yards with a backup qb, so just stock up on running backs, don’t overpay Forte. I love Forte but RB’s can be found EVERYWHERE.

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