Bears

Three possible outcomes to the Forte contract situation

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Three possible outcomes to the Forte contract situation

The ripples from DeSean Jacksons five-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, calling for 45 million and guaranteeing almost 21 million of it, may indeed come west as far as Chicago. But whether they reach as far as Matt Forte is still far from clear.

It can go one of three ways:

Situation unchanged

The Bears have the franchise tag in place and Forte is guaranteed 7.7 million when if he signs it. They hold the ace of trump here, just as the Baltimore Ravens do with running back Ray Rice, and they are within their collectively bargained rights to use the option accorded them.

Working in the Bears favor is what just transpired in New England, where All-Pro receiver Wes Welker just signed his franchise-tag tender offer for the one-year 9.5 million.

The notable element here is that players typically dont mind the tag as long as they view the situation as moving toward a long-term deal. Even Forte was of that mind.

Welker signed the tender, however, not because a deal was imminent, but just the opposite--that talks were getting worse.

He wasnt going to pass on the offseason sessions and wasnt seeing anything that said the team was coming his way financially.

His teammate, guard Logan Mankins, told CSNChicago.com during Super Bowl week that he signed his franchise-tag tender generally for a related reason He didnt see the Patriots moving and getting something done with him and he simply said the amount of the tag money was too big for him to just dig in his heels and hold out.

Forte will be 27 this season. Realistically, the Bears will not tag him for a second year in 2013 (which they can do). He, like Mankins and Welker, may just realize the other side just isnt going to do a deal and take the money and keep running since he has no choice and wont pass on 460,000 per game.

Pay the man

This is the complicated one. The Bears put what they considered a market deal on the table at the outset of training camp last year and they increased it.

Fortes side points to other deals as being the true market value, plus or minus depending on where Forte is valued vs. other top backs.

Brad Biggs over at the Tribune lays out some of the realities involving other contracts for running backs, which ostensibly do set some sort of market for top backs as being with some 20 million in guaranteed money. The Bears havent offered Forte that much and, with 14 million committed to a Michael Bush contract, its no given that they will.

Bears GM Phil Emery and finance man Cliff Stein are evaluating the teams position. They wont cave to public opinion this is business, not a plebiscite.

Split the difference

The best business deals are usually ones in which both sides walk away from the table a little grumpy. Its somewhere between a win-win and lose-lose, which is preferable from someone going away humiliated and beaten and the other fist-pumping at the win.

The question here is how long Forte projects to be performing at the elite level he has achieved. A five-year deal like McCoys works for the Eagles because McCoy is 23 and the team has the five years over which to amortize the money.

The Bears could pose to Forte that his window is not quite what McCoys is, meaning that their paying a 20 million guarantee isnt quite the same on a four-year deal as on a five.

So the Bears are at 14 million guaranteed. Forte wants, say, 20 million. In the middle, conveniently, is 17 million more than the Bears really have to pay and less than Forte probably would command on a truly open market.

The middle ground may be looking better and better to both.

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Former first-round pick Kevin White hasn't caught a break -- or a touchdown -- through the first three years of his career. He has more season-ending injuries than 100-yard games and after an offseason focused on upgrades at wide receiver, White's future in Chicago beyond 2018 is very much in doubt.

Ryan Pace declined the fifth-year option in White's rookie contract, making this a prove-it year for the pass-catcher who once resembled a blend of Larry Fitzgerald and Dez Bryant during his time at West Virginia.

He's getting a fresh start by new coach Matt Nagy.

"He is healthy and he's really doing well," Nagy told Danny Kanell and Steve Torre Friday on SiriusXM's Dog Days Sports. "We're trying to keep him at one position right now so he can focus in on that."

White can't take all the blame for his 21 catches, 193 yards and zero scores through 48 possible games. He's only suited up for five. Whether it's bad luck or bad bone density, White hasn't had a legitimate chance to prove, on the field, that he belongs.

Nagy's looking forward, not backward, when it comes to 2015's seventh pick overall.

"That's gone, that's in the past," Nagy said of White's first three years. "This kid has a new future with us."

White won't be handed a job, however.

"He's gotta work for it, he's gotta put in the time and effort to do it," Nagy said. "But he will do that, he's been doing it. He's a great weapon, he's worked really hard. He has great size, good speed. We just want him to play football and not worry about anything else."

Nagy on Trubisky: 'He wants to be the best'

Nagy on Trubisky: 'He wants to be the best'

The Bears concluded their second round of OTAs on Thursday with the third and final set of voluntary sessions scheduled for May 29-June 1. Coach Matt Nagy is bringing a new and complicated system to Chicago, so the time spent on the practice field with the offense and quarterback Mitch Trubisky has been invaluable.

"We’ve thrown a lot at Mitch in the last 2 ½ months,” Nagy told Dog Days Sports’ Danny Kanell and Steve Torre on Friday. “He’s digested it really well.”

Nagy’s implementing the same system he operated with the Chiefs, an offense that brought the best out of Redskins quarterback Alex Smith. The former first-overall pick went from potential draft bust to MVP candidate under Andy Reid and Nagy’s watch.

Nagy admitted he and his staff may have been a little too aggressive with the amount of information thrust upon Trubisky so far.  It took five years to master the offense in Kansas City, he said, but the first-year head coach sees a lot of similarities between his current and past quarterbacks.

"These guys are just wired differently,” Nagy said when comparing Trubisky to Smith. “With Mitch, the one thing that you notice each and every day is this kid is so hungry. He wants to be the best. And he’s going to do whatever he needs to do. He’s so focused.”

Smith had the best year of his career in 2017 and much of the credit belongs to Nagy, who served as Smith’s position coach in each season of his tenure in Kansas City. He threw for eight touchdowns and only two interceptions during the five regular season games that Nagy took over play-calling duties last year.

Nagy said Trubisky has a similar attention to detail that Smith brought to the Chiefs’ quarterback room.

"Each and every detail that we give him means something. It’s not just something he writes down in a book. He wants to know the why,” Nagy said of Trubisky. “He’s a good person that is in this for the right reason. His teammates absolutely love him. It was the same thing with Alex [Smith] in Kansas City.”

A locker room that believes in its quarterback is a critically important variable for success, one that Nagy already sees exists in Chicago.

"When you have that as a coach and when you have that as being a quarterback, not everybody has that, and when you have that you’re in a good spot.”