On Friday evening, the Chicago Bears announced that they have placed the franchise tag on running back Matt Forte. This ensures Forte will be with Chicago in 2012, but his future with the organization beyond that remains unsettled.
In a move that comes as no surprise, the club placed the franchise tag on Forte on Friday, tendering him a one-year offer that will pay him $7.7 million for this season -- a raise of $7.1 million over what he made in 2011.
The two sides can continue to negotiate a long-term deal, but Forte has made it very clear that he would be upset if he were tagged, going so far as to suggest he might holdout prior to the start of the 2012 season. How he reacts now that the tag is a reality remains to be seen.
Forte and the Bears have until July 15 to work out a long-term contract; if no agreement has been reached by that deadline, Forte will have to play under the franchise tag in 2012.