Bears Franchising Matt Forte?

If you were hoping that the Bears and Matt Forte find some common ground over the bye week and get a contract extension worked out, guess again.  ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that barring a major breakthrough between now and February, the Bears will use the Franchise tag on Matt Forte.  Forte isn’t too excited about the prospect.

“That’s not something I’m looking forward to,” Forte said Friday on “Rome is Burning” on ESPN. “I don’t want a one-year deal. I want a long-term extension. I think if they use the franchise tag that’s kind of a cheap way to go out. That’s not what I’m looking forward to. I want a long-term extension. I’ve been drafted by Chicago. I want to stay there so it’s not something I’m looking forward to.”

Does he deserve a long-term deal?  Hell yes.  Is he worth Chris Johnson-type money, which he is reportedly seeking? Chris Johnson isn’t worth Chris Johnson money.  How has that worked out for the Titans anyway?

Sadly for Forte, the franchise tag exists and is collectively bargained.  The Bears are well within the rights to use it and they should.  They will control Forte’s rights for 2012 and could use the tag again in 2013.  After that, will Forte still be able to get a big payday from the Bears or anyone else?  Seems unlikely.

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