Matt Forte still isnt hearing what he wants in the way of contract numbers from the Bears. Same for Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints or Ray Rice from the Baltimore Ravens.
And same for defensive end Cliff Avril over in Detroit, hoping the Lions will come through with a multi-year deal that will net him in the range of 10 million per season.
All are in the enviable (or unenviable, depending on what slant you choose on guaranteed one-year deals vs. long-term ones with up-front guarantees) position of being under their teams franchise tags. They dont like it. No player really does.
But where Brees and Forte in particular have been scratchy about their situations, as was Wes Welker before signing his tender, Avril is taking a very measured this-is-just-business tone in his perspectives.
That wont really matter in the end, because Avril is right: It is strictly business. Avril has not treated the tag or lack of long-term deal as an insult, which Forte has and Brees is seeming to, meaning that there is less chance of divisive rancor, which does neither Forte nor the Bears any good, in their case.
Indeed, the clear sentiment among Bears players that Forte will eventually be with the team says that any strident public comments, which Forte has stayed away from more lately, perhaps dont reflect anything more than attitude. Thats important, because if one player is genuinely angered or feeling disrespected, he has friends who will feel the same.
But we all expect to have Matt at some point, Jay Cutler said this week. I dont think anybody in this building is really worried about Matt coming in here and doing what we expect him to do.
Avrils situation is complicated by the realities that the Lions opened their vault for wide receiver Calvin Johnson and will have to do the same before long for quarterback Matthew Stafford and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Theres only so much money to go around (collusion lawsuits notwithstanding).
The Bears will be addressing a Cutler extension perhaps as early as this preseason or season. Brian Urlacher is in his last contract year. The Bears would like to see Brandon Marshall play his way into an extension, although he is not up for two more seasons.
The Bears would like more friction over in Detroit between Avril and the Lions. Isnt happening.