Two sides of a disagreement talking is never a bad thing. In the case of a long-term contract for Matt Forte, the Bears and their franchise running back are talking and appear to be a long way from the impasse that prevailed since last training camp.
The bright spots were contained in comments by Forte to CSN's Pat Boyle on Friday. Tune in to Chicago Tribune Live and SportsNet Central starting at 5:00 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for full video coverage.
Forte, currently under the Bears franchise tag with its one-year guaranteed salary of 7.7 million, said that talks with the Bears are ongoing and that the two sides are worlds apart from last year. Considering that he and the Bears were on different planets through much of last year, this has to be taken as a glimmer of hope that the Bears will have their top tailback for more than just 2012.
He and the Bears have until a July 16 deadline to reach a long-term deal. But Fortes observation that they were a long way from where they were this time in 2011 stands as the first hopeful sign since last July.
The Bears made a multi-year offer to Forte at the outset of training camp last year but neither they nor Forte moved enough off their positions to get a deal accomplished.
Forte was unhappy with the failure to reach agreement after then-GM Jerry Angelo said that signing Forte to a long-year deal was a priority.
He played out the fourth year of his rookie year, came back from a knee injury to play in his first Pro Bowl, but then was miffed when the Bears signed former Oakland running back Michael Bush to a four-year deal potentially worth 14 million.
Yes, there are scars, Forte said, but theres a way to get rid of them.
The only way is a deal that the two sides have been unable to reach for nearly a year but could finally be inching toward.