Skip to content

Bears place franchise tag on Matt Forte

Atlanta Hawks v Chicago Bulls Getty Images

Tag Day continues, even though it’s now technically Tag Night.

The Bears have announced the placement of their franchise tag on running back Matt Forte.

“Matt is an important part of our football team and we chose to utilize the franchise tag to ensure he remains a Bear,” Bears G.M. Phil Emery said in a team-issued release. “We believe in Matt as a player and a person.  Our intention is to continue to work to find common ground and keep Matt as a member of the Chicago Bears in 2012 and beyond.”

Forte, a second-round pick from Tulane in 2008, will be eligible for a one-year guaranteed salary in the neighborhood of $7.7 million.  Unlike Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson, Forte likely won’t view the tag as a badge of honor.  Forte has been pushing for a long-term deal, and he likely will hold out through the offseason, training camp, and the preseason, signing at the earliest a few days before Week One.

He can also stay away until Week 10 and still get credit for the 2012 season, but he wouldn’t be paid for any games he misses.

That ugliness can all be avoided if the Bears and Forte strike a long-term deal.  During the 2011 season, the two sides didn’t come close to finding middle ground.

Permalink 30 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Chicago Bears, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
30 Responses to “Bears place franchise tag on Matt Forte”
  1. greenpacker says: Mar 2, 2012 8:52 PM

    BEST RB IN THE NFL. respect

  2. vikingsnorth says: Mar 2, 2012 8:53 PM

    So the Bears want to pay him like a “very good” running back. I think the Bears have pushed this guy enough already. How long until he just says screw it, and asks for a trade.

  3. bennyd720 says: Mar 2, 2012 8:59 PM

    “The Bears have announced the placement of their franchise tag on running back Chicago Bears.”

    He’s Awesome!!!!! not as good as QB Bills though…

  4. echoplex89 says: Mar 2, 2012 8:59 PM

    Angelo offered Forte 12-15mil guaranteed last Sept. He rejected.

    He’s an above average back who’s looking for elite big time money.

    And let’s not forget that his numbers are probably a bit higher because the Bears’ other position players are awful. He’s been their only weapon.

    They need to invest in OLine and WR

  5. FinFan68 says: Mar 2, 2012 9:00 PM

    Yeah, but did they put out a bounty on him?

  6. bdb808757 says: Mar 2, 2012 9:00 PM

    Terrible management decision to not give this guy what he’s given you.

  7. dondada10 says: Mar 2, 2012 9:03 PM

    I see the Bears working out something long term with Forte. Maybe the franchise pay guaranteed for the first two seasons plus a 10 mil signing bonus. It’d be about 40 mil guaranteed.

  8. chicagosportsidiot says: Mar 2, 2012 9:11 PM

    Had to know it was coming, nice to see the bears playing this one smart. Hopefully they can work on a long term deal to save cap space, but if not at least we will retain his services for two years.

  9. chicagosportsidiot says: Mar 2, 2012 9:16 PM

    Nice to see the bears being smart about this move. My hope is that the bears can work out a fair deal that locks up Forte long term and creates more cap space, but at least they’ve locked him up for this year.

  10. jets13 says: Mar 2, 2012 9:22 PM

    Just like the NFL, the NFLPA is a QB driven association……..and the “guidelines” are set up for the QB……RB’s get screwed, hop in line forte

    Smart buisness move by the bears, i wouldn’t say ethical, but i’d say smart

  11. johnnyjagfan says: Mar 2, 2012 9:25 PM

    Bears should soak him in cash for a 2-3 year deal.

  12. nonstory says: Mar 2, 2012 9:28 PM

    I’m sure he’s thrilled.

  13. bearsSTH says: Mar 2, 2012 9:31 PM

    I blame the Carolina Panthers and the insane contract given to DeAngelo Williams. If it weren’t for that then Bears original offer of $15M guaranteed would have had a better shot at being agreed to and been more in line with what Frank Gore and Jamaal Charles contracts were. Forte will be able to say that he is worth more than Williams.

    The Bears aren’t foolish here. The career of a RB is often not very long and subject to injury (how many ACL injuries last year for RB that signed contracts). Sure Forte is young, but he also needs reasonable expectations. Unless they can get a 3-5 year contract in place that would work out to count less against the cap than the franchise tag would the next 2 seasons than I just don’t see why the Bears wouldn’t be expected to do that.

    Also will be curious to see what happens with the Ravens and Ray Rice contract. That may help determine what the fair market contract for Forte could be.

  14. truthfactory says: Mar 2, 2012 9:32 PM

    Don’t pay RB’s big money! They eat up way too much cap space and are usually replaceable. There’s a 50-75% chance that after receiving their big contract, their numbers will fall off dramatically the next year (i.e. Chris Johnson, and DeAngelo Williams from last year).

    When was the last time you’ve seen an “elite” RB in the Superbowl???

  15. frankdatank23 says: Mar 2, 2012 9:51 PM

    In this case I’m actually for the player holding out……this is getting to be ridiculous. Much worse than the Briggs ordeal. The guy is a frickin stud, would you pay him already? You tight wads !

  16. abninf says: Mar 2, 2012 9:57 PM

    Seven point seven million dollars for one year of football. Poor guy. I’d hold out as well.

  17. nesby2 says: Mar 2, 2012 10:46 PM

    Yea it was a smart move by the bears but Forte needs to be more realistic about his value also.. He wants 20+ million guaranteed yet we had to find a short yardage back to get us the 3rd & 2 & 3rd & 1 conversions.. Also poor short yardage back @ the goaline..He’s not worth over 17 million guaranteed for 4 years.. That’s the reality of the situation. He’s a nice back but not the likes of an AP or CJ2K.

  18. briggsisbrokeagain says: Mar 2, 2012 11:08 PM

    Forte has to come down a little with his demands and this can get done, otherwise the Bears have to use the tag. It’s not smart to just give him Peterson or Johnson money because he wants it. He’s a good RB, but he doesn’t score many TD’s and he isn’t a good short yardage back. If having to play for 7.7 million is the worst thing to happen to him then he doesn’t have any problems.

  19. someidiotfromouthereintheprojects says: Mar 2, 2012 11:13 PM

    bearsSTH says:
    Mar 2, 2012 9:31 PM
    I blame the Carolina Panthers and the insane contract given to DeAngelo Williams. If it weren’t for that then Bears original offer of $15M guaranteed would have had a better shot at being agreed to and been more in line with what Frank Gore and Jamaal Charles contracts were. Forte will be able to say that he is worth more than Williams.

    with all do respect none of those guys are a deangelo caliber player. to compare even forte to deangelo is a reach considering his workload. true they don’t have cam on their team either. they are also dudes who don’t share the ball with another elite rb. and deangelo has a ton of tread left on the tires considering how little carries he and stewart get.

    blame your team for crappy management, they kinda suck and don’t take care of their playmakers. that isn’t very bright.

  20. lameasish says: Mar 2, 2012 11:39 PM

    I cant believe I’m saying this but I hope he holds out. The bears are a joke.

  21. 6thsense79 says: Mar 2, 2012 11:42 PM

    Well….Forte is the Bears best running back AND best receiver. He’s without a doubt the second most important offensive player on the bears….maybe tied for first with Cutler. In any case this is the problem with the rediculous franchise tag. It undermines and limits how a free market should operate. Forte has completely played out his contract…a contract which he had no choice or say in who would be his employer and he’s not allowed to explore what his true market value would be. I’d wager to bet in the free market he could demand $20+ in gaurantees……The only part of a contract that matters.

  22. mialto says: Mar 3, 2012 12:48 AM

    The Bears made the best business move by putting the tag on him. Cant find common ground, well the deal is on ice until it makes sense. Only problem is now Forte is not insured beyond 2012 (injury).

  23. skolvikesskol says: Mar 3, 2012 1:09 AM

    U cant overpay for a great rb like forte. U just cant makr a commitment longer than 3 yrs… Its the fairest way to compensate a player and protect the franchise.

  24. dino2997 says: Mar 3, 2012 1:20 AM

    someidiotfromouthereintheprojects says:
    Mar 2, 2012 11:13 PM

    —————————————————-

    DeAngelo rushed for 836 yards last season after signing a $43 million dollar contract. As a Bears fan I’m ecstatic beyond belief that they have such “crappy” management when it comes to signing Forte.

  25. bearsSTH says: Mar 3, 2012 2:20 AM

    @someidiotfromouthereintheprojects

    Thanks for helping make my point even though I don’t think that was your intention.

    I’m not going to question or argue DeAngelo Williams talent ability, but the amount of money he is receiving compared to the output that statistically he gives the Panthers makes it an unfair comparison to other backs who don’t split the workload. I wouldn’t consider anyone an elite RB that splits carries (Williams 155 vs Stewart 142). I would make the argument that part of being elite is being the feature back. Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Arian Foster to name a few. (I’m excluding Forte even as he has yet to prove himself as a short down/goalline back).

    When dealing with salary caps, it’s foolish to pay players with Williams output the type of money that he is earning and then have other players (Forte and his agent) use that as a benchmark for performance that statistically is better than Williams. Is it fair to Jonathan Stewart to make 1/4 of what DeAngelo is making 2012 even though he does equal work?

    Bears management has made their mistakes (as have most teams) but they also have paid players fairly well in the past (Urlacher and Briggs, even though Briggs is again unhappy) and brought in a high profile player through free agency (Julius Peppers). If management isn’t careful with how they manage the salary cap then you end up with issues of being over the cap like the Steelers, Raiders, Giants, and PANTHERS and have to make hard decisions like cutting players or getting other players to restructure contracts.

  26. nflofficeadmin says: Mar 3, 2012 2:31 AM

    They are doing this guy so dirty.. Just pay the freakin guy..

  27. sricko says: Mar 3, 2012 6:13 AM

    So the Bears run this guy into the ground without giving him long term security, then slap the tag on him when all is said it done.

  28. moochzilla says: Mar 3, 2012 8:18 AM

    “And let’s not forget that his numbers are probably a bit higher because the Bears’ other position players are awful. He’s been their only weapon. ”

    True, but that only gives him more leverage because he’s essentially your offense.

    I can never understand why teams CHOOSE to make one guy the focal point of their offense, and then refuse to pay him accordingly. No on leaned more on a RB than the Bears did last year, and the consequences include a demand by the player for cash.

    If you don’t want to be faced with that demand…don’t use him so much. Pretty simple.

  29. mrjdroth says: Mar 10, 2012 9:21 PM

    Well I’d say the Colts had some elite RBs in the Superbowl .

  30. mrjdroth says: Mar 10, 2012 9:39 PM

    Maybe the Bears should grab a colt positional player yo help him out? OL?I here their forming a on the unemployment line.
    Jon Roth

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!