Running back Matt Forte has not signed his franchise-tag tender offer but there are signs that some pressure is getting to a couple of other franchise tagees and best guess is that it is not going unnoticed by the Forte camp.
Sources tell Mike Florio over at ProFootballTalk.com that indications are that Kansas City wide receiver Dwayne Bowe is leaning toward signing his tag tender. Mike says that a concern of Bowes is that the Chiefs will draft a wideout this weekend and take the tag (and its 9.5 million guaranteed salary for one season) off of Bowe.
Cornerback Brent Grimes already recently signed his tag tender with the Atlanta Falcons, who were in the process of trading for Asante Samuel, which theyve now done.
The Bears put some de facto pressure on Forte simply by adding a starter-grade backup in Michael Bush. It wasnt done to leverage Forte but it can have that effect.
The market for running backs is a fuzzy place to begin with. After the draft, with Alabamas Trent Richardson, Boise States Doug Martin and Lamar Miller from Miami among those likely to go to teams inside the first two or three rounds, it will get even more filled out.
The Bears have the option of pulling the tag off Forte. Sources have told CSNChicago.com that the Bears will not tag him next year (at more than 9 million) in any case.
Dont expect them to reverse field on their franchise back. But the market is never static and chances of Forte picking up more than the 13-14 million guaranteed the Bears are offering will decline just a little bit more this weekend.