You Just Knew This Would Happen..............
Forte wants new deal from Bears — now
Running back threatening holdout with camp set to open
http://www.chicagotribune.com/media/...7/63592675.jpg Matt Forte with a big run in the 4th quarter of the NFC Championship game at Soldier Field. (Nuccio DiNuzzo, Chicago Tribune / January 23, 2011)
http://www.chicagotribune.com/media/...4-29142256.jpg Photos: Matt Forte in action
By Vaughn McClure, Tribune reporter 9:46 p.m. CDT, July 28, 2011
Bears running back Matt Forte told the Tribune last week that holding out never helps anyone involved. But he didn't rule out making such a move to nudge the Bears for an extension.
Forte now is strongly considering boycotting training camp when the Bears are to report Friday in Bourbonnais, according to a league source.
Forte said last week he wanted to secure a contract extension before camp, but the timing for that was disrupted with the flurry of free-agent signings and transactions after the NFL lockout. He is due a base salary of $550,000 in the final year of his rookie contract, and he isn't even the highest-paid running back on the team. Backup Chester Taylor is set to make $1.25 million this season.
Forte was the NFC's sixth-leading rusher last season with 1,069 yards on 237 carries with six touchdowns. He also had 51 catches for 547 yards and another three touchdowns.
"Any time a player has been producing very well,'' Forte said last week, "they're going to come back and say, 'Hey, throw me a bone here.'"
Nevertheless, Forte might want to proceed cautiously because holdouts will be fined $30,000 per day under the new collective bargaining agreement. Plus the last time a Bears running back held out — Cedric Benson's 36-day protest during his rookie season in 2005 — it didn't go over well with his teammates.
"It never benefits anybody — a player or organization — to hold out or miss practices,'' Forte said last week. "That's obviously something I wouldn't want to do.''
Efforts to reach Forte and his agent, Adisa Bakari, were unsuccessful, but communication between Bakari and the team have been cordial.
Forte is ranked fifth in the league in yards from scrimmage (4,731) since 2008, joined Walter Payton as the only Bears to notch 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in the same season and accumulated 1,400-plus yards from scrimmage in each of his first three seasons, the only player in franchise history to accomplish such a feat.
Forte wants a five-year-deal, and he is no doubt aware the Panthers' DeAngelo Williams secured a five-year, $43 million contract with $21 million guaranteed this week.
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