Earlier this month, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said he’d be “shocked” if running back Matt Forte doesn’t sign his franchise tender before July 16th.
That thought doesn’t appear to be shared by all of Cutler’s teammates. During an interview with ESPN Radio in Chicago, linebacker Lance Briggs said he isn’t sure what Forte will do in regard to his tender or what he’s going to do about reporting to the start of training camp, but he’s sure that he won’t be angry at Forte if the running back decides to hold out when camp rolls around.
“I hope … I don’t know, I don’t know.” Briggs said. “I’ve been in similar situations with what Matt Forte is going through, but like I said, I don’t know. I hope so. I want him there. But I also want him to get paid the way he needs to get paid.”
Bears fans worried about missing Forte can take some solace from Briggs’ dealings with the team. Briggs has had a couple of contract squabbles during his run with the Bears, but both of them ended with extensions that have kept the linebacker on the team for the long haul. He missed some practice time as he tried to negotiate new deals and, as Briggs points out in the interview, those absences didn’t do much to hinder his productivity on the field.