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Bears Free Agency 2012: Bears Almost Certain To Use Franchise Tag On Matt Forte

Presidents' Day is the first day that NFL teams can elect to use their franchise tag, and many consider it a certainty that the Chicago Bears will tag star RB Matt Forte, who has been going back and forth with the team on the status of his contract. The latest to join in the chorus is SB Nation's Joel Thorman, who sees it as a "no-brainer" that the Bears will use their 2012 franchise tag on Forte.

According to Mac's Football Blog, Forte would receive somewhere between $7.7 and $8 million in base salary if the Bears do indeed franchise him. The deadline for all teams to use the tag is March 5, and how close the Bears get to that deadline will probably be a good indication of where long-term negotiations between Forte and the team currently stand.

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. Visit SB Nation NFL for more news and notes around the league.