Teammates continue to believe that Matt Forte will be in a Bears uniform this season and there has never been any question that the running back wants to be there as well.
Forte took his own beliefs public on Wednesday, telling the NFL Network that he hopes for exactly the same thing and that he is not demanding to be the highest-paid running back in the NFL.
"All my teammates know I'm going to be there for them and give them the best in my heart out there on the field," Forte said. "I just want to be given a contract where I rank among some of the top running backs...
"Not the top paid or anything like that. I just want to be recognized as one of the best."
The 7.7 million he will receive for one year under the franchise tag would rank him among those top backs but only for 2012. And while the tag price is guaranteed, it would not be close to the guarantees received by the likes of LeSean McCoy from Philadelphia, DeAngelo Williams from Carolina or others.
Forte and Ray Rice, under the Baltimore Ravens franchise tag, are both consensus top running backs in the NFL but whether either receives a long-term deal remains problematic.
Rules allow negotiations to continue only until July 16, after which the players only option -- for playing -- is the one-year deal.
His other option is to hold out. But the Bears signed Michael Bush as starter-grade depth and added Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery to muscle up a passing offense.
Overall, it is a basic business disagreement over value but that does not make it any easier on Forte.
"It's unfortunate that the organization (can) treat it as a business, Forte said, and when the player does he gets frowned upon...
"You have to make due with what's best for you and your family."
From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.
Position: Right wing
Weight: 188 pounds
"He thinks the game a couple steps ahead and will make decisions with or without the puck that not many can make. He's on a very powerful line but teams focus to stop him. He lets the play and pressure come to him, and he can survey the ice so well. The vision and smarts are impressive."
NHL player comparable:
Fit for Blackhawks:
In TSN Bob McKenzie's latest final draft ranking, one scout told him that “Svechnikov may be closer to [Rasmus] Dahlin for No. 1 than the rest of the field is to Svechnikov." So yeah, Svechnikov is going second overall. The question is, will Carolina be the one making that pick?
Under new ownership and a new regime, the Hurricanes are open to just about anything. And the word is they won't be moving out of the second spot unless they're blown away by an offer.
The Blackhawks have been connected with the Hurricanes because the latter possesses a ton of immediate assets, including Scott Darling, Justin Faulk and even Jeff Skinner, all of whom would be a significant upgrade for Chicago. Would it cost more to center a deal around any of those players or the No. 2 overall pick?
Svechnikov is one of probably two players who are absolutely ready to step into an NHL lineup right now. He would look tremendous on the right wing with Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad. But the price to pay just doesn't seem to be worth it.
NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.
School: Elmwood Park
Head coach: Dylan Mack
Assistant coaches: Gabe Ostrander, Tim Eberhard, Mario Fiorito, Chad Nardi, Joe Kraft and Dwayne French
How they fared in 2017: 6-4 (4-1 Metro Suburban Red Conference), Elmwood Park made the Class 4A state football playoff field. The Tigers lost to Genoa-Kingston in opening round action.
2018 Regular Season Schedule:
Aug. 24 vs St. Joseph
Sept. 1 vs Foreman
Sept. 7 vs Ridgewood
Sept. 14 @ St. Edward
Sept. 21 @ Fenton
Sept. 28 vs Leo
Oct. 5 @ Guerin Prep
Oct. 12 vs Chicago Christian
Oct. 19 vs Bishop McNamara
[MORE: 82 Days to Kickoff - Ridgewood]
Biggest storyline: An encore performance. Can the Tigers make back-to-back playoff appearances this season?
Names to watch this season: FB/DE Luciano Martino and WR/DB Kris Diallo
Biggest holes to fill: The Tigers will need to replace eight graduated starters on defense this fall.
EDGY's Early Take: Elmwood Park head coach Dylan Mack is looking to keep the winning momentum found last season going into 2018. The Tigers will rely on an experienced offense with eight returning starters back in the fold and if the defense can gel sooner rather than later, look for Elmwood Park to once again challenge for another state playoff bid this fall.