Back in training camp, running back Matt Forte said that he trusted the Bears to make a long-term contract extension happen for him. General manager Jerry Angelo was public with the Bears commitment to getting that done.
Nearly six months later, with no deal done and the two sides dug in, Forte said he has not seen the effort Angelo said would be there.
Of course hes going to say that, Forte said. And as far as effort, a deal didnt get done. He can say whatever he wants to say about effort and all that stuff, but it didnt get done. So well see what happens.
The Bears have had an offer in front of Forte calling for guaranteed money in excess of 12 million on a multi-year deal. They are not expected to alter that to any significant degree if only because they have a franchise tag available to use, which would pay Forte nearly 8 million but only for one season.
Their feeling is that there is no reason to up an offer that they already believe to be fair. Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams signed a mega-deal worth more than 8 million per season but Forte insisted that was not the framework standard for his contract.
We werent even close to that at the beginning of the season, Forte said. My agent told me the longer we wait, the harder its going to get to do.
Only three of John Fox’s 12 wins as Bears coach have been against NFC North opponents, while 12 of his 29 losses have come against divisional opponents.
That’s a recipe for back-to-back-to-back last place finishes in the NFC North. And if the Bears can’t beat an Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay Packers team, why could it beat a Detroit Lions team that has a healthy franchise quarterback?
The positive end of that answer is the Bears do have wins over two playoff teams (Pittsburgh and Carolina) while six of their four losses have been by eight points or fewer. Sunday’s game will probably be close, again (if it’s not, and the Bears are on the losing end of it, it would raise some significant concerns about the state of Fox within the locker room).
So if the game is decided by one possession or less, this could be the difference: Detroit has one of the best special teams units in the NFL, ranking second in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, while the Bears are 28th by the same measure.
Getting Sherrick McManis back this week should help solidify Jeff Rodgers’ special teams units, but Jamal Agnew has two punt return scores and is averaging 18.3 yards per return.
“Tough guy — he’ll return inside and outside,” Rodgers said. “He’s got multiple longer returns against people this year. it’s not just, ‘I had a long return in Week 2 or Week 1,’ and kinda held onto that. he’s been productive in a lot of games. certainly a guy that we’ve gotta do a good job against.”
If the Bears don’t do a good job bottling up Agnew, though, he could be the reason why the game flips to Detroit — or, at least, why the Lions keep the Bears at arm’s length.
Prediction: Lions 24, Bears 16
Seth Gruen (Bleacher Report/”Big Ten Unfiltered” podcast), Chris Emma (670TheScore.com) and Matt Zahn (CBS 2) join Kap on the panel. If the Bears lose badly to the Lions, should Sunday be John Fox’s last game?
Plus Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill joins the panel to talk Bulls as well as the Niko/Portis cold war.
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