By Eric Schmidt

RB Matt Forte, a key component of the Chicago Bears offense wants a new long-term deal. The Chicago Bears have been reluctant to offer one which Forte finds satisfactory. The two sides are going to meet this weekend during the NFL Combine in order to see if they can reach a happy medium.

Forte entered the 2011 unhappy and had threatened to hold out until he was given a new contract, but he decided eventually against that course of action and reported to camp. The productive running back is scheduled to become a free agent when the new calendar year starts for the NFL on March 13th, but it’s unlikely that the Bears will allow Matt Forte to test the free agency market. Chicago will likely slap the franchise tag on Forte and the two sides can’t reach an agreement.

Applying the franchise tag on Forte would cost the Bears $7.7 million for the one-year deal. There is always the possibility of Forte not signing his tender and holding out until he receives a new long-term deal. Forte could also demand a trade from the Bears.

Forte missed the final four games of the 2011 regular season after suffering a knee injury. Despite missing those games, he still posted nearly 1,500 all-purpose yards and had a career-high 4.9 yards per carry.

Chicago has until March 5th to place the franchise tag on Forte.

 

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