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There is really only one solution to this long, drawn-out scenario. Both sides need to come to a long-term agreement, and it needs to happen soon.
It makes sense for both sides. Regardless of what new moves the team has made, Matt Forte is still the focal point of the Bears offense. He will not be upwards of 40 percent of the offense, but expect him to still be at least 25-30 percent next year. Not to mention a long-term deal gets a big monkey off Forte's back, allowing him to concentrate on what he does best and that's play football.
Financially, it's a win for both sides. Forte gets the long-term security he has been seeking for a while now, and the Bears can space out the money, giving them more financial flexibility. Right now, that franchise tender actually hurts the team because they can't space the money out handcuffing them during free agency.
Majority of the running backs on Forte's level have signed their deals. Only him and Ray Rice remain in similar situations. This should make the negotiating plane smaller and easier to manage. A four or five-year deal worth about $17-18 million guaranteed should get this done.
At this point, there should be no excuse for both sides to not come together and get a deal done before the team opens Week 1 at home against the Colts.