Bears president makes it clear trade won't happen for Matt Forte
The Chicago Bears are not anywhere near striking a deal with running back Matt Forte on a long-term contract.
But under no scenario is the team going to consider trading the Pro Bowl performer from this past season. Forte has been tendered with the franchise tag, and team president Ted Phillips made it clear in comments to the NFP’s Dan Pompei that Forte isn’t going anywhere.
“Matt is going to be a Bear," Phillips said in comments to the Chicago Tribune.
The Bears have left some money and cap room for a potential deal for Forte. Possibilities also exist for extensions for defensive tackle Henry Melton, who is entering the final year of his contract, quarterback Jay Cutler, who is signed through 2013, and middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, who is entering the final year of his deal.
"Our goal with Matt is to keep him a Bear as long as possible,” Phillips said. “We have made offers on long-term deals that we think reward him at a high level, the level he deserves. We haven't been able to reach common ground. The door is open to keep talking. If we get a deal done, we'll be happy. If we don't, then the deal we have is the franchise tag and we'll see what happens after this year."
Phillips characterized the club’s offer to Forte as “very strong.”
As far as Urlacher, there has been no movement to this point.
"Brian has been an amazing player," Phillips said. "Love Brian Urlacher. Love how he has grown as a leader and the face of the team. He still is playing at a high level at his age. We'll see how this season goes and deal with it in due time."
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune