Matt Forte: Chicago Bears Need to Reach Long-Term Deal with Running Back Soon
As of right now, no progress has been made between the two sides.
The problem for the Bears is that unless they work something out with the 26-year-old running back before free agency starts on March 13, they won't know exactly how much salary cap room they have to play with on the open market.
Forte is currently set to make $7.7 million next year under the franchise tag.
The Bears and Forte have been dancing around getting a deal done for the better part of a year now, yet for some reason they just haven't been able to figure things out.
Now that fellow running backs Marshawn Lynch and Arian Foster have signed their long-term deals, the hope in Chicago is that the parameters for a deal with Forte could now be in place.
Lynch and the Seattle Seahawks agreed to a four-year, $32 million deal with $18 million guaranteed, while Foster got a five-year, $43.5 million extension from the Houston Texans, with $20.75 million guaranteed.
Lynch's deal will probably be the floor for Forte's deal, especially when you consider how well he played in 2011 before a knee injury sidelined him for the team's final four games.
Forte had 997 yards and three touchdowns on just 203 carries (a career-high 4.9 yards per carry), along with 490 yards and a touchdown on 52 receptions in 12 games during the 2011 season.
He has been Chicago's most consistent offensive player throughout his four years in the league and the team can't afford to let him walk.
The Bears need Matt Forte, and from all indications he wants to remain in Chicago. Both sides better hurry up and get something done or things could get ugly moving forward.
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