Franchise tag just the first step for Forte


Franchise tag just the first step for Forte

The anticipated franchise designation was assigned to running back Matt Forte on Friday. It isnt projected to make Forte particularly happy, even with its 7.7 million guaranteed money when he signs the contract. But it does project to keep him a Chicago Bear, and that was really the point.

It also is not likely to be the end of contract transactions for Forte.

The expectation is that he and agent Adisa Bakari, who has met with GM Phil Emery since Emery succeeded Jerry Angelo, will agree to a longer-term contract. That will allow the Bears to give Forte more guaranteed money and to average out the money over more years rather than full deal hitting in this contract year, which it does with the franchise tag.

Forte has hinted that he would be a little hard to find around Halas Hall if he received the tag. And the two sides have until July 15 to work out a longer deal.

The Bears gave an offer to Forte at the outset of last training camp and did not move enough to suit Fortes side, leaving him to play out the 2011 season under his rookie deal for less than 600,000.

Forte didnt hold out over that situation. The tag isnt what he wants, but New England guard Logan Mankins, who was tagged by the Patriots before he eventually worked out a long-term deal, told during Super Bowl week that holding out over the tag is simply too much money to leave on the table.

The 2012 tag is not the only leverage the Bears have in the Forte situation.

The collective bargaining agreement allows teams to apply the tag for a second year, albeit for more money but still not for the amount Forte would expect to net under a multi-year deal.

Forte, who missed four games this season with a knee injury, is at some risk even with the 2012 tag. It is a one-year pact and the team is under no obligation to use the tag a second time or work on a new contract if Forte is injured again.

Mitch Trubisky officially doubtful as all signs point to Chase Daniel starting in Detroit

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Mitch Trubisky officially doubtful as all signs point to Chase Daniel starting in Detroit

The Bears designated Mitch Trubisky as doubtful to play Thanksgiving against the Detroit Lions with a shoulder injury, as all signs point to Chase Daniel replacing him at Ford Field. 

Trubisky injured his right shoulder late in Sunday’s 25-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings when he awkwardly went to the ground and was illegally hit by safety Harrison Smith. The Bears did not hold a full practice with a short week leading up to Thursday’s game, but had the team held a full practice, Trubisky would not have participated on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. 

The Bears believe Trubisky could’ve played had their game this week been on Sunday, and not on an 88-hour turnaround from Sunday Night Football:

The Bears also listed tight end Adam Shaheen and outside linebacker Aaron Lynch as out for Thursday. Both suffered concussions Sunday. 

Daniel, who’s only thrown 78 passes in his NFL career, last started on Dec. 28, 2014 when then-Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith had to miss a game against the San Diego Chargers at the last minute due to an issue with his spleen. Daniel completed 16 of 27 passes for 157 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions in what wound up being a 19-7 Chiefs win. 

“The game is not fast to him when he plays,” coach Matt Nagy said. “The other thing with Chase that I've always appreciated is the fact that he prepares every game like he's the starter, if his time does come, he doesn't blink. 

“We ran into a similar situation where we had to make a decision with Alex several years ago. I think a matter of fact this one was literally hours before the game/the night before and Chase didn't blink. He went in and it was toward the end of the season and he did great with a bunch of backups against a playoff team in the San Diego Chargers back in the day. The confidence factor that he has, he's been with a lot of good quarterbacks. He has experience and you have trust.”

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears and stream the ‘Football Aftershow’ easily on your device.

Bears at Lions: How to watch, listen and stream

Bears at Lions: How to watch, listen and stream

The Bears have had less than 90 hours to prepare for their Thanksgiving matchup with the Detroit Lions, and Chicago isn’t even sure who’s going to start at quarterback.

It all makes for plenty of intrigue in a rematch between two teams that last played 11 days earlier. Here’s how you can tune in to the game.

Game Information

Chicago Bears (7-3) at Detroit Lions (4-6)

11:30 a.m. CT, Thursday, November 22

Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan


Announcers: Jim Nantz and Tony Romo

Watch live with fuboTV — Try free trial

Football Aftershow on NBC Sports Chicago


WBBM 780 (Chicago)

Satellite Radio
National broadcast: XM 88

Bears feed: XM 226

Lions feed: XM 225

Coverage on NBC Sports Chicago

"The Warm Up” — 15 minutes prior to every Bears game this season, host Laurence Holmes, along with analysts Lance Briggs, Alex Brown, Matt Forte, will hold a special Facebook Live segment on NBC Sports Chicago’s official Facebook page — offering a game day preview featuring their expert commentary and predictions, plus - Bears fans will have also an opportunity to have their questions answered by submitting their game day inquiries via the “comments” section on the live stream.

“3rd Quarter Sidecast” — At the start of the third quarter of every Bears game this season, fans will also be able to interact with the Football Aftershow crew via Facebook Live ( as they watch and react to the first few series of the second half. In addition, the “3rd Quarter Sidecast” will also feature more fan interaction as fans can post their thoughts and ask their questions to Briggs, Brown, and Forte.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears and stream the ‘Football Aftershow’ easily on your device.