|M. Forte said he'd be OK with a franchise tag if it leads to a long-term deal. (Getty Images)|
The Bears, despite their somewhat contentious relationship with Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte during the past season, have made clear they don’t plan on letting him test free agency. That’s what team president/CEO Ted Phillips said recently, claiming new general manager Phil Emery would work with Forte on a possible agreement to a long-term deal or would franchise-tag him to keep him in Chicago.
Forte has been on record saying that he didn’t want to be tagged, noting in November that “If they think by just slapping the franchise tag on me that’s going to silence anything, they’re sadly mistaken.”
Forte apparently has changed his mind.
That’s the impression he gave ESPN 1000 in Chicago during a recent interview when he said he’d be fine with a franchise tag if it led him to that elusive long-term deal.
OK, so he’s beginning to waver on the tag issue. But Forte -- who sprained his MCL late in the season after complaining earlier in the year that the Bears were grinding him to a pulp without paying him what he’s worth -- isn’t going to forget the idea of signing an extended contract.
"I would expect (a new GM) to affect (the talks) positively," Forte said. "Hopefully, if we don't reach a deal by the time the franchise tag has to be placed, if they do franchise me, it's in order to get a deal done."
And if not, I’m sure we won’t hear the end of Forte’s disillusionment.
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