To the surprise of no one, the Bears on Friday night placed a franchise tag on running back Matt Forte which will pay him approximately $7.7 million next season.
The Bears , who had until Monday afternoon to use the tag, say they will continue to talk with Forte's agent, Adisa Bakari. on the long-term deal Forte wants. Next season's salary will still provide a nice raise from the $550,000 Forte made last season in the final year of his rookie contract.
Last season, the 2008 second-round draft pick turned down a reported $13 million to $14 million in guaranteed money on a multi-year deal. It's unlikely that the Bears will go much higher, even though Forte led the NFL on yards from scrimmage at the time he suffered a season-ending sprained knee in Game 12 last season.
"Matt is an important part of our football team, and we chose to utilize the franchise tag to ensure he remains a Bear," general manager Phil Emery told the Bears website Friday night. "We believe in
Matt as a player...