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Bears Apply Franchise Tag to Matt Forte

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Bears Apply Franchise Tag to Matt Forte

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DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 10: Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears tries to get around the tackle of Aaron Berry #32 of the Detroit Lions during a second quarter run at Ford Field on October 10, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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As expected, the Bears have placed a franchise tag on running back Matt Forte. The tag will ensure free agent Forte stays in Chicago for another season, and gives the two sides more time to reach a long-term deal.

“Matt is an important part of our football team and we chose to utilize the franchise tag to ensure he remains a Bear,” Bears General Manager Phil Emery said via press release. “We believe in Matt as a player and a person.  Our intention is to continue to work to find common ground and keep Matt as a member of the Chicago Bears in 2012 and beyond.”

With former general manager Jerry Angelo in charge of negotiations, the two sides failed to come to a deal before the 2011 season. Forte dd not hold out. Instead, he picked up 1,487 all purpose yard in 12 games. His season was cut short by a sprained MCL suffered in the Bears loss to Kansas City.

With the franchise tag, Forte will earn approximately $7.7 million in the 2012 season unless the two sides come to an agreement before July 15.

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