The Chicago Bears knew that a key component of their 2012 offense would have to involve retaining star running back Matt Forte. Attempts at working out a long-term contract stalled well before the free agent deadline, so the Bears opted to affix their franchise tag to Forte. Unfortunately, Forte has shown little interest at this point in signing his franchise tag tender, either.
According to Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune, there is no progress on Forte either signing the tender or the two sides agreeing on a long-term contract. To that end, Forte is expected to be absent at the beginning of offseason workouts next Monday and miss mini-camp in June as the Bears gear up for next season. Forte will not be allowed to attend any offseason workouts until he signs with the team.
Bears general manager Phil Emery stresses that the team will continue to work toward a long-term deal with Forte.