The Chicago Bears have a new general manager and with that position filled their now ready to negotiate with running back Matt Forte.
Bears management spoke with Forte’s representatives during the NFL combine and they conducted several meetings with his team and the teams other free agents at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Indianapolis.
GM Phil Emery is now expected to offer Matt Forte somewhere in the vicinity of $13 to $14 million in guaranteed money after talks with the 26-year-old running back broke down last year with the Bears promising to throw the franchise tag on their star running back if no deal was reached.
Given his age the Bears are expected to offer Forte a five-year deal that will place him on the Chicago Bears for a full decade.
Signing Matt Forte to a long-term deal has been a top priority for the Bears with their star RB ranking fifth in yards from scrimmage since entering the NFL. Forte trails only Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones-Drew and Steven Jackson.
Forte was also placed on his first Pro Bowl team in 2011 after leading the team with 1,487 yards from scrimmage even though he missed the last four games of the season because of a sprained medial collateral ligament sprain in his right knee during the Bears loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 4.
Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith is confident Matt Forte will be with the organization for a long time:
“Matt is going to play his football for the Chicago Bears, you start with that,” and “In time, hopefully we can get an agreement in place that suits Matt and we feel comfortable with. I think it’s just a matter of time. That will happen eventually.”
If an agreement is not met by the March 5 deadline the Chicago Bears can place the franchise tag on Matt Forte which will pay him $7.7 million next season.
Do you think the Chicago Bears need to work quickly to secure Matt Forte for the long term?