Bears quarterback Jay Cutler knows what Matt Forte means to the Bears offense.
During an interview on ESPN 100 Radio in Chicago, Cutler said that the team needs Forte “to get where we need to be” and opined that Forte knew that as well. As a result, Cutler believes that Forte will sign his franchise tender — recent reports indicate that the Bears want him to do that before further negotiations on a long-term deal — and join the team at the start of training camp.
“I would be shocked if he doesn’t sign his tender by July 15, or whenever it is, and he shows up. It would really be a surprise to me,” Cutler said. “At the end of the day, I think Matt knows it’s business. He’s still getting seven-whatever-million dollars to play this year. So he’s gonna show up.”
Earlier this week, Forte told the NFL Network that he wasn’t trying to become the highest-paid player in the league. That’s good, because there doesn’t appear to be any chance that the Bears are inclined to offer him that kind of contract.
We don’t know if Cutler’s right about the tender, but he’s definitely right about the Bears needing Forte if they want to be all they want to be this season. Michael Bush is a good back, but Forte can do more things than Bush and the team would be looking very good in the backfield with both of them.