Bears

Pompei: Bears Can’t Let Forte Hit Free Agency

Matt Forte. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Matt Forte. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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(WSCR) On Tuesday, Bears president Ted Phillips said the Bears have no plans of letting Matt Forte go via free agency.

While the two sides have had no recent discussions on a long-term contract, the franchise tag appears to be the way the Bears are leaning.

“I really don’t think this is a revelation,” Dan Pompei of the National Football Post and Chicago Tribune told The Mully and Hanley Show. “We all knew this was coming as far back as probably last September. This was a foregone conclusion. It’s something the Bears have to do, no matter who the general manager is. It’s bigger than the general manager. It’s an organizational decision. When you have a player of the caliber of Matt Forte, you do not let that guy get to free agency, by hook or by crook. You either try to sign him to an extension, which the Bears still could try to do. I would be surprised if they do not try to do this. Maybe they’ll come at it with a different tact now. Maybe they have a different approach as to what his value is to the team. If that fails, you put the franchise tag on him and you move forward with that.”

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With Phil Emery as the new general manager, could this be an opportunity for Forte and the Bears to strike a deal?

“If you are Forte’s agent, you certainly have to look at it that way,” Pompei said. “‘This is a chance for me to get what I want for my client that I could not get from Jerry Angelo.’ I think if you’re the Bears, determining the value of a player like Forte is done not just by one person, but by a group. … These are big decisions, multi-million dollar decisions that have lasting impacts on a franchise, and you don’t make them lightly.”