The Matt Forte contract-vs-tag situation is more of a business story at this point than a football one, which Forte, agent Adisa Bakari and the Bears all understand.
The issue is not whether Forte will play football in 2012 or for whom. The Bears are the only option for the latter and hes said he wont miss games so theres no real drama with the latter.
Whether Forte plays for one guaranteed year at 7.74 million or for perhaps 16 million guaranteed on a multi-year deal is what is being negotiated. Who plays the first snap of the year vs. Indianapolis isnt.
If Forte does agree to a multi-year deal, hell be there for training camp. Forte is nothing if not a team guy, he wants to play football and hell have no reason to stay away (and hear more nice things said about Michael Bush). Besides, why start handing back some of your guaranteed money with fines?
Forte will have until game 10 to sign his franchise tender, if matters bog down to that point. No talks on a long-term deal are permitted until after the season once Mondays 3 p.m. deadline passes.
Fortes situation is one of a small cluster of clogged talks and possibly not the lumpiest. Colleague Tom Curran up at CSNNE.com says that talks between Wes Welker and the New England Patriots are non-existent, something that at least isnt the case in Chicago.
In a case of considerably more interest to the Bears, Dave Birkett over at the Detroit Free Press says that the lack of progress between the Lions and Cliff Avril raise real questions about this being the franchised defensive ends last in Detroit.
What makes the AvrilLions interesting is that the same scenario could well apply to Forte. Players can be tagged for a second year with a 20-percent raise, but thats a lot of cap space for players that the organization isnt willing to do whatevers necessary to lock up long term.