(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Today is the last day the Bears can sign Matt Forte to a long-term contract. If a contract is not signed by 3 p.m. CT, he will have to play under the franchise tag for the 2012 season.
He'll be paid $7.74 million for this season, but if the Bears don't franchise him again or come to a long-term deal with the running back, he could be elsewhere in 2013.
Forte's contract saga started in 2011, when he first sought a long-term deal with then-Bears GM Jerry Angelo. The two couldn't come to an agreement before the 2011 season. In 2011, he ran for 997 yards and caught 490 more before being injured in week 13.
On Friday, Forte said he was confident a deal could be reached by the deadline, but not much has been said from either camp since then. The old adage is things are quiet when work is getting done, so perhaps no news is good news for the Bears' most promising running back in decades.