Blog Entry

Bears use franchise tag on RB Matt Forte

Posted on: March 2, 2012 9:12 pm
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By Ryan Wilson

Other than the Browns' decision to franchise 37-year-old kicker Phil Dawson, there weren't any real surprises Friday. That didn't change when the Bears tagged running back Matt Forte, who's now in line to make $7.7 million in 2012 under the designation.

The Bears' former second-round pick missed the final month of the season with a knee injury, but the organization had no plans to let him hit free agency. In February, team president Ted Phillips said, "We'd like to (work out a long-term deal). But as (new GM) Phil (Emery) pointed out we obviously will at least consider placing the franchise tag on him. We don't have any intention of letting Matt hit the open market. We'll sit down with him privately, Phil will, and discuss what the plans are prior to the Feb. 20 franchise tag date."

And that's exactly what happened.

Forte's response to Phillips' comments above? "It depends on the motive of (the franchise tag). If they are doing the franchise tag just to get more time in order to negotiate a long-term deal, then I would be OK with it. But if it's just to hold me another year and just, 'Let's throw some money at him right now to keep him quiet,' that's not going to solve anything."

So what happens now? Players can sign their tenders at any point between March 13 and July 16, the deadline for reaching a multi-year extension.

"Matt is an important part of our football team and we chose to utilize the franchise tag to ensure he remains a Bear," general manager Phil Emery said. "We believe in Matt as a player and a person. Our intention is to continue to work to find common ground and keep Matt as a member of the Chicago Bears in 2012 and beyond."

Despite the late-season injury, Forte became the first Bears running back to be named to a Pro Bowl since Neal Anderson in 1991. In four seasons, Forte has rushed for 4,233 yards on 1,014 carries (4.2 YPC) and scored 21 touchdowns. He's a important cog in Chicago's offense because of his versatility as a runner and a pass-catcher.

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Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: March 3, 2012 8:59 am

Bears use franchise tag on RB Matt Forte

If I was a player, I would love to be "franchised" every year.  Most contracts are only good for a year or two anyway because the NFL doesn't have to guarantee their end of the bargain: only the player does.  Most "long-term" contracts only say "we can cut you anytime, but you can't go anywhere for X number of years."  

Until the imbalance is taken out of NFL player contracts, a player is a fool to sign a multi-year contract.  Even when he gets a signing bonus, it isn't guaranteed.  Teams routinely sue players for large portions of their signing bonuses after they have already spent the money.  

The bottom line: any situation that makes you one of the highest-paid players in the league at your position, and is guaranteed, even for one year, is a great contract. 

Since: Dec 14, 2011
Posted on: March 3, 2012 6:47 am

Bears use franchise tag on RB Matt Forte

redwings is on track. Forte has been saying for years that the Bears overuse him and don't pay up.  I would think that NFL running back contracts would be heavily laden with performance incentives so the running back gets his money in the year he does great and the team will know their RB is giving 110 per cent on every snap.  Currently, seems like running back contracts are asking the RB's to chase a fake carrot. 

Since: Feb 26, 2007
Posted on: March 3, 2012 3:59 am

Bears use franchise tag on RB Matt Forte

Forte IS the Bears offense....
Yes, Jay Cutler clearly has nothing to do with how the offense performs.  Quarterback is such an overrated position in professional football.  They might as well trade him to move up in the draft to take Trent Richardson. 

Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: March 3, 2012 2:58 am

...because the story got dumped....

Simple math in Minnesota: Taxpayers pay $1,925,000 per home game the Vikes play, asn that's if the league actually exoands to an 18 game season for 9 home games per year for 30 years along with an assumption that they make the playoffs 1/3 of the years with 2 home playoffs per appearance (not likely). If we stick to0day's formula as the league exists, then taxpayers are on the hook for $2,290,000 per home game for the next 30 years. Are they saying that each and every game generates somewhere over 20 million dollars in economic activity that can be taxed enough to cover that much taxpayer money up front????

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2012 1:13 am

Bears use franchise tag on RB Matt Forte

take the moneyMatt Forte and runners are turning out to be a dime a dozen, and to big of a risk for big bucks (see Adrian Peterson )

Forte deserves as much or more money then every NFL qb out there.  If I'm Forte I take the guaranteed 7 million dollars, no doubt about it.  And if I'm Forte I do my best, but the second I feel hurt at all I sit and protect myself.  I almost NEVER take the side of a player in situations like this, but when a player is that important to a team, you pay the man.  Forte IS the Bears offense....

Since: Oct 15, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2012 1:09 am

Bears use franchise tag on RB Matt Forte

This scenario will be a good guage of Emery's moxie. Forte is in the top 5 at his position, but definately lacking that in representation. A 3 year deal at 30 mil. seems reasonable, but how much guranteed ? That is the true gauge of an effective agent, How much cash up-front is guranteed. Bears Org. still one of the most frugal organizations around, their business is football thats it, Forte is a premier RB is he represented by a premier agent. time will tell? If Forte commits to Bears long-term he can bank on a plethora of endorsements something his agent should know.

Since: Oct 29, 2010
Posted on: March 2, 2012 11:28 pm

Bears use franchise tag on RB Matt Forte

take the moneyMatt Forte and runners are turning out to be a dime a dozen, and to big of a risk for big bucks (see Adrian Peterson )

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