Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte wants a long-term deal and probably won't be a happy camper if he's playing under the franchise tag. That being said, the Bears assigned the franchise tag to Forte on Friday. If a long-term deal can't be reached between the two sides and Forte doesn't hold out, he'll make $7.7 million next season. Forte was on his way to a career year in 2011 before a sprained MCL shut him down for the final month of the season. However, he still racked up 1,487 yards from scrimmage with four touchdowns.
A holdout seems to be better than 50-50 here unless Forte gets his big-money deal. Maybe it won't carry over into the regular season, but it'll definitely be something worth tracking a few months from now. That sophomore slump of 2009 is long forgotten now as Forte has rebounded with back-to-back solid seasons. Right now, he should be considered a fringe first-round pick.