Matt Forte Contract Dispute: Bears Not The Only Team That Can Sign Forte, According To Report

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk is reporting the Chicago Bears are not only team able to sign RB Matt Forte. According to Florio, players such as Forte -- who have been offered, but have not signed franchise player tenders -- can still outside offers, though at a great cost:

Lost in the details regarding the operation of the franchise tag ... is the fact that, while restricted free agents go off the market before the draft, franchise and transition players remain available to be signed into May and beyond.

And so, in theory, if a team decides to pursue one of the non-exclusive franchise players, like Bears running back Matt Forte ... it can still happen. Specifically, the player would sign an offer sheet, the current team would have an opportunity to match it, and if the current team doesn’t match within a week, the current team would receive a first-round pick in 2013 and a first-round pick in 2014.

Given the incredible value of first round draft picks -- and the relatively low value of veteran running backs -- it is unlikely the Bears will have any offer sheets sent their way, but the possibility still exists in an ever-changing NFL environment.

Stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago for more information, and for in-depth analysis on the Chicago Bears, be sure to visit Windy City Gridiron. And drop by SB Nation's NFL news hub for more updates and commentary from around the league.

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