The Bears and running back Matt Forte continue to be at odds with one another and it doesn’t look like this is going to end anytime soon. The Bears are clearly not willing to pay Forte what he wants and Forte doesn’t appear to be willing to take less, so both parties are in a stalemate right now and no one is really blinking.
This holdout hurts both the Bears and Forte.
It hurts the Bears because they don’t have one of their best players in camp and he’s not there taking vital reps at the running back position. Chicago will be running a different offense next season and it’s important that it has its No. 1 running back there to help take some of the reps and get the other players used to how he runs and plays.
New offensive coordinator Mike Tice would like to see Forte there so he can get him used to the new passing game that the Bears are sure to install. Forte was an important part of the Bears' passing game last year and should be an integral part of it again this season, but its difficult when he’s not there.
Will the Bears be able to have a good solid offense if this nonsense continues and Forte keeps holding out?
It’s important for any team to come into these offseason workouts as a whole and be one complete unit—especially on offense. Forte knows that his holdout is going to affect the Bears and he’s hoping that this effect will prompt them into giving him what he wants and getting him into the fold and back into action.
The Bears may want that to happen, but are they going to give up the kind of money that it’s going to take to get Forte back in the lineup?
Should the Bears pay Forte the kind of money that he is asking for (remember that he is asking for top running back money)? All of this for a player who ended the season injured and has a lot of mileage on his “tires.” It’s doubtful that the Bears are going to pay him all that money when he’s in that condition. But he’s still a very valuable part of the offense and an important part of the team overall. So the Bears have to figure out a way to get him back into camp.
There is no telling when this is going to end. It appears as if both sides are deeply entrenched in their respective corners and no one is going to budge in order to get this stalemate resolved.
It’s likely that Forte will continue to miss more offseason workout time and it’s very likely he could miss part of training camp if this thing doesn’t get resolved. The Bears cannot afford to have him miss any part of training camp.
So the saga continues and it doesn’t look like there is going to be a resolution to it anytime soon. As fans, all we can do is hope that this will end quickly and that Forte will be back in camp training with his teammates, learning the new offense and being capable of being a solid contributor during the 2012 NFL season.