Forte open to franchise tag if long-term deal follows


Impending free agent running back Matt Forte told ESPN 1000 Chicago Thursday that he is open to receiving the Bears’ franchise tag so long as it leads to a long-term contract.

“If they are doing the franchise tag just to get more time in order to negotiate a long term deal,” Forte said, “then I would be OK with it. But if it’s just to hold me another year and just, ‘Let’s throw some money at him right now to keep him quiet,’ that’s not going to solve anything.”

Running backs have short shelf lives, and NFL teams aren’t obligated to follow up franchise tags with more high-dollar, lengthy investments if they don’t want to. Even if they privately say they will.

Forte showed in 2011 that he is willing to play hard without a long-term contract. He had the best season of his career on a per-game and per-play basis. New G.M. Phil Emery has made no commitments about giving Forte what he desires, and the franchise tag could keep him hungry.

“I’m tired of talking about it, and I bet everybody is tired of hearing about it,” Forte conceded. “The production level is there. Everything seems like it’s pretty simple to get done, so let’s do it.”


13 responses to “Forte open to franchise tag if long-term deal follows

  1. Brian Coz twitted:

    “Just talked with Jets owner Woody Johnson. He said he has spoken with Mark Sanchez. The 2 are having dinner next week.”

  2. I think the play of Kahlil Bell down the stretch may have hurt Forte’s cause. If the third-string RB can step in and produce, the Bears may not need to keep Forte with an elite RB price tag. If they can’t get him cheap enough, they may let him walk. That wouldn’t make me happy as a Bears fan, but it may not be far from the truth.

  3. Matt,

    You are one of my favorite players and I hope you get paid but don’t act like you weren’t offered a fair long-term deal already. If you are going to try and break the bank, then expect the Bears to use the tools available to them.

  4. He better be ok with it, it’s in the CBA and he may not have a choice. I want Forte to get paid as much as the next bears fan, but truth be told I’m just glad he’s gonna be a Bear.

  5. How is this newsworthy? Of course Forte would love to get franchised and then long-termed. That’s actually his best-case scenario. How about just changing the headline to: “Forte prefers to get more money than less of it?”

  6. Does Forte really think management needs more time to negotiate a long-term deal? They can pay him the 8M or so it will cost to franchise him, run his ass off next season, and see what happens.

  7. NakedCowboy! says: Feb 2, 2012 5:23 PM

    Trivia qn: what is a one man offense called without that man…

    A team?

  8. NakedCowboy! says:
    Feb 2, 2012 5:23 PM
    Trivia qn: what is a one man offense called without that man…


    Answer: It is called the Caleb Hanie version of Chicago Bears.

    Watch the games, please.

  9. Maybe the new CBA should get rid of this franchise tag. I understand the origins of it, but it seems to have become perverted into a way to not pay your players. For players with particularly short shelf lives (like RBs), it is even worse.

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