Matt Forte Reverses Field on Franchise Tag

October 23, 2011; London, ENGLAND; Chicago bears running back Matt Forte (22) carries the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a catch during the fourth quarter in the NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. The Bears defeated the Buccaneers 24-18. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Matt Forte is making the rounds on Radio Row at the Super Bowl this week and he found his way to the Waddle and Silvy Show on Thursday.  He talked about his contract status and the new Bears GM.

“It depends on the motive of (the franchise tag),” Forte said Thursday on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on WMVP-AM 1000. “If they are doing the franchise tag just to get more time in order to negotiate a long-term deal, then I would be OK with it. But, if it’s just to hold me another year and just, ‘Let’s throw some money at him right now to keep him quiet,’ that’s not going to solve anything.”

Sounds to me like Forte is reversing field and starting to accept the inevitable – he is going to get tagged.  It’s in contrast to his previous stance about kinda, sorta threatening to hold out or “being hard to find” if he were to get tagged. 

He’s hoping that new Bears GM will be a positive step toward getting a new deal done.  I’m not counting on it since it looks like the Bears’ money man Ted Phillips has his mind made up on this one.  Phillips stated on the same Waddle and Silvy this week that “We don’t have any intention of letting Matt hit the open market. We’ll sit down with him privately, Phil will, and discuss what the plans are prior to the Feb. 20 franchise tag date.”

Either way Forte is about to be a very rich dude with at least $8 million coming his way.  Not too shabby.

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  • teejaysplace

    I don’t think he’s reversing his field at all. His goal was always to get a long term contract and that hasn’t changed. Under Jerry Angelo, I’m sure the franchise tag felt simply like a way to get another year out of him and coax him in into a lower contract thereafter. (As I’m sure Forte knows, that’s essentially what happened to Lance Briggs.) With a new GM in place, he’s simply clarifying what everyone has known all along – that being franchised, in and of itself, isn’t a bad thing. Now if the Bears franchise him and then decline to make him a subsequent offer, he might still be hard to find come training camp.

  • teejaysplace

    I don’t think he’s reversing his field at all. His goal was always to get a long term contract and that hasn’t changed. Under Jerry Angelo, I’m sure the franchise tag felt simply like a way to get another year out of him and coax him in into a lower contract thereafter. (As I’m sure Forte knows, that’s essentially what happened to Lance Briggs.) With a new GM in place, he’s simply clarifying what everyone has known all along – that being franchised, in and of itself, isn’t a bad thing. Now if the Bears franchise him and then decline to make him a subsequent offer, he might still be hard to find come training camp.

  • BearGogglesOn

    @teejaysplace Maybe “reverses field” is a bit strong. How about “cuts back” on Franchise Tag. The point is that prior to this week, Forte didn’t even want to utter the “F” word = Franchise. Now, he’s OK with it as long as it’s in an effort to work out a longer term deal.

    I think it’s a testament to the kind of guy Forte is. He’s too nice. He could have held out in the preseason, but didn’t. At first he alluded to the idea of holding out if he gets tagged, now, eh, um, well, he is OK with it but…

  • BearGogglesOn

    @teejaysplace Maybe “reverses field” is a bit strong. How about “cuts back” on Franchise Tag. The point is that prior to this week, Forte didn’t even want to utter the “F” word = Franchise. Now, he’s OK with it as long as it’s in an effort to work out a longer term deal.

    I think it’s a testament to the kind of guy Forte is. He’s too nice. He could have held out in the preseason, but didn’t. At first he alluded to the idea of holding out if he gets tagged, now, eh, um, well, he is OK with it but…

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