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Twitter mailbag: Should Bears let Matt Forte go into last year of deal?

11/21/2014

Welcome to the Chicago Bears' Twitter mailbag:

@mikecwright: Good question. It made me have to go through my salary files, which is always a good thing. With the way Matt Forte is performing, I'd say it would be a good idea to try to lock him up for the next three years or so with a new deal that will somehow represent a cap savings in 2015. He certainly hasn't shown any drop-off in play. As it stands, Forte is to make $6.65 million in base salary in 2015, which would count $8.8 million against that year's cap. We have all heard about the decline running backs hit when they turn 30, and next month, Forte turns 29, which is something the organization surely would weigh in any decision it makes. It's cheaper to keep a player when a team locks him up before he actually hits free agency (assuming there is a market for said player). I personally think the Bears would try to get something done with Forte early in the offseason, but the problem I see is the team will probably look into to redoing other contracts such as Alshon Jeffery, whose rookie deal also wraps up in 2015.

@mikecwright: I agree with you, Pierce. I think Josh McCown was a major loss for the offense, because in many ways he was somewhat of a coach on the field during his time with the Bears. McCown also set a positive example with his work habits, which was instrumental in teaching some of the younger players how to be pros. But I also see Jimmy Clausen taking on a similar role now with the Bears. I've been in the locker room when Clausen is on the field after practice, watching him work with some of the younger players, especially rookie quarterback David Fales. I even saw Clausen in the locker room the other day showing rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller how particular offenses are trying to attack him on a down-to-down basis. So, though the loss of McCown was major, I do see Clausen transitioning into that role very quickly.

@mikecwright: That would be a major knee-jerk reaction, and that's not the way the Bears roll. Go through this team's recent history, and see for yourself. There will probably be some firings at the conclusion of the season, but nobody will receive pink slips if the Bears lose Sunday to the Buccaneers.

@mikecwright: Vincent, just walked in from practice, actually, and that's my expectation based on what I saw. Besides that, Chris Williams hasn't practiced all week, and the club declared him out for Sunday's game. That means Marc Mariani gets the call, which should be interesting, considering he made the Pro Bowl as a return specialist in 2010 coming off his rookie season.

@mikecwright: Malcolm, I can't think of any other way to look at it. Phil Emery's first draft consisted of Shea McClellin, Jeffery, Brandon Hardin, Evan Rodriguez, Isaiah Frey and Greg McCoy. Only McClellin and Jeffery remain on the team, and it's safe to say at this point that McClellin has been inconsistent at best as a linebacker. Emery followed up his first draft with a 2013 class featuring defenders Jonathan Bostic, Khaseem Greene and Cornelius Washington. Only Bostic has been a major contributor. Emery has said he wants to build the team through the draft, but to do that, you have to hit on your draft picks. I think Emery did a better job selecting defenders in his latest draft by adding Kyle Fuller, Ego Ferguson, Will Sutton and Brock Vereen. But I'm sure Emery would even say he has to do a better job with the draft. He also has to do better in free agency.

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