Matt Forte “extremely close,” but Cliff Avril gets a bad “vibe”


Deadlines continue to make effective kick-starts for negotiating long-term deals.

Of the 14 franchise-tagged players who hadn’t signed mullti-year deals, two have reached long-term riches in the last 26 hours (Drew Brees and Tyvon Branch).

A third could be joining them soon, as the NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi reports the Bears are “extremely close” to a contract with running back Matt Forte.

Teams have until Monday to reach long-term deals with tagged players, or they can only sign for one year. Forte didn’t sign his one-year, $7.749 million tender, and didn’t work out with the Bears this offseason awaiting the deal.

Others aren’t as fortunate.

In Detroit, defensive end Cliff Avril told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press he wasn’t feeling optimistic.

“I’m hopeful, but I don’t know,” Avril said. “I’m not getting a good vibe, let’s put it that way. But I’m hopeful.”

Forte and Avril are two of the six tagged players who didn’t sign their tenders, along with 49ers safety Dashon Goldson, Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee and Ravens running back Ray Rice.

14 responses to “Matt Forte “extremely close,” but Cliff Avril gets a bad “vibe”

  1. The rumor in Detroit is that while the Lions would like Avril back, they have up-and-comers Willie Young and Lawrence Jackson available as replacements, and there are unsubstantiated reports that either Nick Fairley ot Ndamukung Suh could see time at DE, as well.

    Avril is a fast, disruptive DE, and last year had 11 sacks, and even more usefully, 6 forced fumbles/strip sacks, but one year isn’t impressive enough to get him the $50M his agent is demanding.

    The Lions might very well pay his franchise tag this year and let him walk, in 2013, if Young or one of the others should produce, this season.

  2. About time Bears and Forte come together. Should be a great season in Chicago. And a hell of a 16 week battle with the Packers for the division.

  3. Cliff needs to prove he can produce those double digit sacks again. IMO it’s no quiescence that Suh’s stats fell off, while Avrils blew up. Suh after-all, had more QB pressures than any other DT. Cliff is just a good player playing next to other good players. The front office is going to make Cliff prove them wrong, before investing big money in a rotational player.

  4. Forte is being mistreated and disrespected by the Bears. Sign the tender. Claim you’re hurt and rest for a year on the Bears’ tab. Then they’ll cut or release you. You can extend your career by a year and go where you’re respected and treated well.

    Avril expects too much. One decent year and he wants the world. He won’t be signed long-term because the Lions aren’t crazy. He’ll sign the tender and probably be traded or let go after this season. That is unless he demonstrates that he is the stud he thinks he is.

  5. The bears are the greediest team in the league. They treat all of their star players and fan favorites like pieces of meat. Just ask Urlacher. Forte is by far your best offensive weapon and you finally got a decent receiver for Cutler to throw the ball to in Marshall. Pay Forte and stop acting like a Dollar Tree Corporation. This should be a NO-BRAINER for the Bears.

  6. mr. morton, you have no idea what you’re talking about. As far as your suggestion that Urlacher thinks the Bears are cheap: well, the Bears gave Urlacher a raise in 2007 when he asked for it, and his cap hit this year is 9.2 million dollars. The Bears revised Briggs’s contract twice when he asked for it, gave Peppers one of the richest contracts ever for a defensive player, and has taken very good care of other core players such as charles tillman and devin hester. When a team has to pay superstars like Urlacher, Briggs, Peppers, Cutler, and Marshall, it is simply a bad business decision to overpay at a position where plenty of quality talent can be easily acquired at an affordable price. I can’t believe there are people still out there that can’t see this common sense equation. 1 out of 80-something players is unhappy with their contract situation… All things considered that’s not that bad. Get a clue, man.

  7. mjkelly77 says: Jul 14, 2012 5:50 PM

    Forte is being mistreated and disrespected by the Bears. Sign the tender. Claim you’re hurt and rest for a year on the Bears’ tab. Then they’ll cut or release you. You can extend your career by a year and go where you’re respected and treated well.

    And you wonder why you will be rounding up shopping carts at Wal-Mart for the rest of your life.

  8. Forte & the Bears will get a reasonable contract done by monday. Forte WANTS to go to camp now. an the Bears WANT him there yesterday. Chicago dont have this problem a lot

  9. Avril had good seasons before Sue got there but his stats did explode thanks to Sue. I like Avril but Jackson and Young will put up numbers on that line for alot cheaper. Lions if you can resign him without breaking the bank please do…if not let him walk.

  10. At best Forte gets a 5 yr $60M w/25-30 guaranteed. Slim chance of it being a front heavy contract also. Bears are crazy for taking this long. Even if he does get a 5 yr deal Bears will cut him before it’s up. Also Cutler/Marshall didn’t have a great relationship in Denver. Marshall will not exceed 1000 yrds or 12 TDs this season

  11. @thayer57. The reason you watch football by yourself is because you don’t have anybody that wants to watch football with you. Its That simple.

    @mjkelly. Uralachers contract was a media frenzy and I specifically remember him at a televised conference calling out the front office on how they deal with players and his dissatisfication with how the process was being handled. Forte is above “quality talent” and should get compensated similar to other top RB’s in the league. End of story

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