The Tribune’s Dan Pompei caught up with Chicago Bears president Ted Phillips who is down in south Florida for the NFL owner’s meetings. Sweaty Teddy dispelled any trade rumors and re-stated the Bears’ position on the “disrespected” running back.
He said the Bears have “no intention” of Forte playing anywhere other than Chicago in 2012 and quashed talk of a Forte trade.
“Matt is going to be a Bear,” Phillips said.
“Our goal with Matt is to keep him a Bear as long as possible. We have made offers on long-term deals that we think reward him at a high level, the level he deserves. We haven’t been able to reach common ground. The door is open to keep talking. If we get a deal done, we’ll be happy. If we don’t, then the deal we have is the franchise tag and we’ll see what happens after this year.”
Ted also gives you the gem at the end – if they can’t reach a deal, the Bears have the hammer; the franchise tag; in their back pocket.
Here’s the very real and frank business side of this deal – the Bears have offered a long term deal at what the Bears feel he deserves, but Forte feels he deserves more.
Phillips said the Bears and Forte have different opinions of Forte’s perceived value. Forte has recently complained of feeling disrespected.
“At that position, especially last year where a lot of running backs signed long-term deals and didn’t stay healthy, it makes it difficult,” Phillips said.T
The Bears don’t seem in a hurry to rush back to the bargaining table with a big offer in light of how some of those big-money offers for running backs deals panned out last year.
It looks like we’re headed for a stalemate and possible holdout in this dispute with no happy ending in sight.