Lance Briggs won’t be upset if Matt Forte holds out

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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.

6 responses to “Lance Briggs won’t be upset if Matt Forte holds out

  1. Hate him or love him. He’s been to 7 straight ProBowls.

    Yet, somehow I am not shocked by this statement.

  2. If there is anyone on the Bears who has the right to speak on an issue like this it is Lance. he gave the correct political answer. Cutler didn’t help Forte’s cause however.

  3. Fans need to learn that, at times, what is best for a team and what is best for a player may not be one and the same.

    Forte would be a fool if he signs his franchise tender without getting a written guarantee from the Bears to not tag him again in ’13. This is exactly what Briggs did in ’07, and the Bears signed Briggs to a long-term deal after the season.

    Being tagged with a franchise tender can cost a player millions of dollars in earning potential. It becomes a question of simple math to sacrifice the $480,000 per game that Forte would lose against the millions he can gain by the no-tag clause.

    Best part is that Forte has until 11/13 to sign the tender. Even at that late date, Forte is guaranteed about $3.4 million for 7 games of work. Not a bad raise from his salary of last year.

    That also puts the Bears in the precarious position of whether it is worthwhile to tag a disgruntled Forte again (if no clause is given) vs. using the tag on a more important player like Cutler.

    Giving Forte the no-tag clause before training camp can be win-win for both the Bears and Forte.

  4. Briggs and Forte are good friends, talk everyday. He is just trying to help Matt in his contract neg’s by putting doubt in the air.

  5. Forte would be a fool to leave mounds of money on the table by not playing in regular season games. Briggs knows that great LBs have negotiating leverage, and that good RBs don’t.

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