(WSCR) It’s no secret: The Bears hold all the cards in the Matt Forte contract situation.

Forte, who is in the final season of his rookie contract, accounts for almost half of the Bears total offense, but is making roughly $550,000 this season.

The Bears have the option of using the franchise tag on Matt Forte for the next two season, ultimately getting six seasons out of Forte for minimal cost.

“The Bears have to forget the fact that they can franchise Matt Forte next year at a number that’s expected to go down from what it was in 2011, and you have to acknowledge that you have one of the elite players in the NFL,” Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk told The McNeil and Spiegel Show. “If you don’t take care of the guy, you’re going to start causing wide-spread trouble. The flip side of that coin is Chris Johnson. He got paid and now he’s disappeared. I think that’s part of the Bears’ concern.”

LISTEN: Mike Florio on The Mully and Hanley Show

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The one option Forte does have is sitting out — something Florio does not recommend. Forte has the support of the fan base, but that could be lost if he quits on his team.

“If he walks, the fans are gonna turn (on him). It’s very easy to get behind a guy who is showing up and busting his but every week. (If) he walks out the door, I think it all changes.

“I can’t remember anyone walking out in the middle of the season. … I can’t recall anyone showing up and walking — that would be a gutsy move by Matt Forte.”

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