A month ago, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler expressed optimism that Matt Forte’s contract situation would be handled in time for the start of training camp.
“I would be shocked if he doesn’t sign his tender by July 15, or whenever it is, and he shows up. It would really be a surprise to me (if Forte misses any training camp),” Cutler said. “At the end of the day, I think Matt knows it’s business. He’s still getting seven-whatever-million dollars to play this year. So he’s gonna show up.”
With training camp set to begin in two weeks, Cutler has revised his outlook.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen,” Cutler told ESPN Radio on Wednesday. “It’s a business on both ends. So if and when we get Matt back, we’re happy to have him.”
Even if Forte does end up missing time, Cutler remains confident Forte will be able to play catch-up on the new elements of Chicago’s offense.
“I’m not worried about Matt,” Cutler said. “If we have a short amount of time with Matt, he’s gonna be fine.”
When Cutler made his initial comments last month, Forte expressed a little disappointment in his teammate for discussing business in a public forum. However, Forte also acknowledged that he would most likely not let his contract demands keep him away from the team once the season begins.
I believe Forte realizes that the Bears hold all of the leverage in this situation. With a capable backup already in the fold in Michael Bush and the franchise tag at their disposal, the Bears hold all the cards. With the deadline for long term deals for franchise players coming up this Monday, I fully expect this contract dispute to be resolved next week one way or another.