This year's offseason workouts begin next Monday, the starting date and the period in which teams can conduct such programs having been pushed back under the new collective bargaining agreement. The Bears will be without running back Matt Forte for the sessions if he does not sign the tender he received as the team’s franchise player or a long-term contract is not worked out. To this point, there’s been no sign of progress. Publicly, general manager Phil Emery says the team continues to work toward the goal of a multi-year deal.
Without an offseason program last year, Forte reported to training camp in the best shape of his career. He then enjoyed the best season of his career until a minor knee sprain in Week 13 put him on the shelf.
Forte bristled when the Bears signed Michael Bush, so it will be interesting to see if the two sides can work out a deal this offseason. Forte's value takes a hit with Bush on board, but he could be a sneaky mid-round pick if Forte's relationship with the team worsens further.