Bears Hang On To Forte With Franchise Tag

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte received the franchise tag from the Chicago Bears on Friday.

Forte sprained the medial collateral ligament in his right knee early in a loss to Kansas City on Dec. 4 and sat out the rest of the season.

Without Forte and quarterback Jay Cutler, the Bears struggled down the stretch and finished third in the NFC North and missed the playoffs with an 8-8 record.

Forte still got selected to his first Pro Bowl, finishing with 1,487 yards from scrimmage and 997 rushing in his fourth season. He averaged 4.9 yards per carry. Forte was the first Chicago running back to make it to the Pro Bowl since Neal Anderson following the 1991 season.

Forte came into last season looking for an extension, but did not reach an agreement with the Bears.

Forte was reportedly offered a deal that guaranteed about $13 million or $14 million, but might have been looking for something closer to the five-year, $43 million contract with $21 million guaranteed that Carolina gave DeAngelo Williams.

“Matt is an important part of our football team and we chose to utilize the franchise tag to ensure he remains a Bear,” Bears general manager Phil Emery said. “We believe in Matt as a player and a person. Our intention is to continue to work to find common ground and keep Matt as a member of the Chicago Bears in 2012 and beyond.”

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • hounddog

    I hope they can work out a deal,but making around 8 million for one year or should I say 6 months,I’d take it.then retire LOL.
    Will he still make that amount of money if he gets injured and can not play?

  • Markie Maypo

    Matt is still asking for WAY too much money. He’s a good back, but he’s simply NOT a top 5 back in the league. ESPECIALLY coming off of such a bad KNEE injury! I hope he comes back, full strength, has a great and long career with the Bears. But if you’re the Bears, you CAN NOT take too big of a risk in guaranteeing him too much money. For once, the Bears are being smart here.

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