Chicago Bears Rumors: Matt Forte Return Unlikely? Alshon Jeffery Free Agent Priority, Martellus Bennett Trade Option? Myles Jack Draft Target

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Jan 18, 2016 02:55 PM EST
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Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears
Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears scores a touchdown against the Washington Redskins during the third quarter on December 13, 2015 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Washington Redskins won 24-21."

The Chicago Bears have Matt Forte and Alshon Jeffery hitting the free agent market this offseason and it's unlikely that the team will be bringing back both players. Forte is likely to leave in free agency, while Jeffery appears to be a priority for the team this offseason, along with improving the defensive unit for John Fox.

The Bears are coming into the offseason with numerous questions and they have to make decisions on players like Jeffery, Forte and Zach Miller. Forte is likely gone in free agency, as the team did not engage in contract extension talks with the running back last year. Forte spoke with the Associated Press and said that there was "really nothing to hope for" about a new contract from the Bears.

Forte has expressed desire to stay with the team, but his age and contract status may keep a new deal from happening. The team also got some strong play from Jeremy Langford while Forte was injured this season and that also could play a part in what the team does with Forte moving forward.

Jeffery is likely to return for the Bears despite dealing with injuries this season. Jeffery had two very productive years leading into this season and he likely will try to be retained by the Bears. The team can use the franchise tag on Jeffery if they feel that they can't get a deal done. Jeffery is one of the top wideouts on the market and at his age he could have a number of suitors, but the Bears are most likely going to keep him.

Martellus Bennett was reportedly not happy with his role this season and the Chicago Tribune reports that the team could explore a trade with the TE this offseason. The team liked how Zach Miller played down the stretch and there is a chance Bennett could be moved if the team brings back Miller on a new deal. Miller will be much cheaper and with Bennett's production slipping this year, the Bears could feel that it's time to move on.

The Bears have a number of options in the draft, but this year defensive could be the pick after taking Kevin White last year. Some draft experts have pegged Myles Jack as a target for the team, while Shaq Lawson out of Clemson also could be an option. The Bears need an upgrade at the linebacker position and overall on defense and that could be the focus this offseason.

Check here for more on the Bears, Forte and Jeffery.

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