Matt Forte spoke to the Chicago Bears Radio Network today and gave fans a sense of relief, saying that he will play in the regular season for the team in 2012.
He has 7.7 Million reasons to show up and play, as he was hit with a Franchise Tag that will pay him nearly double what he made in his first four seasons as a pro. Although he promised to be ready to go for the season, he didn’t confirm nor deny that he’d be there for the Bears when they kick-off training camp.
“Not playing at all? That actually is an option, but there’s a slight chance of that happening. There’s another option of not being in camp and that stuff. There’s two sides to it,” Forte said “A lot of fans don’t appreciate when guys hold out and stuff like that, But if it’s a player and that is his leverage, he has to use it. As a team, they’re going to use their leverage when they’re negotiating against you.”
Forte also commented on the reports he saw of the team being concerned about his knee issue, “You can’t let it get too personal. It’s always personal when you’re dealing with the business side of the league because they’re talking about you as a person,” Forte said. “And when you’re an athlete, and you’ve done everything that you’ve been asked to do and you’ve excelled out there on the field and then go out in the media, and you see stuff written about you how they’re devaluing you as a player at your position, and saying you’re not as good as you think you are, this and that.
He added that negotiations between his agent and the team continued towards a long-term deal, and he was optimistic in getting a deal done.
This offseason the Bears added Veteran Running Back Michael Bush to the roster in an attempt to solidify the position on the depth chart. Bush is a bruising back that can gobble up the short-yardage and goalline situations for the Bears and will be a asset to the team in terms of a change-in-pace back that the Bears have needed.
Forte is coming off a season where he accounted for 1,487 all purpose yards, before suffering an injury in week 13 of last season causing him to miss the last four weeks.
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OCNN Sports Columnist – Justin Arbogast @NFLGuy_SK