Chicago Bears Rumors: Matt Forte Pay Cut to Return? Jay Cutler Requests Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett Returns with Jeremy Langford Starter

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Jan 26, 2016 11:20 AM EST
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Matt Forte, Jay Cutler
Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte and quarterback Jay Cutler celebrate a touchdown in 2015."

The Chicago Bears continue to wait on the future of Matt Forte. The team has a lot of offseason moves that need to be made and deciding on the running back's future with the team is one of them. Forte has been with the Bears for his entire career and has stressed that he would love to retire with the franchise, but is that desire big enough that the running back would accept a pay cut in his next contract?

It is no secret that Forte is going to be a free agent at the start of the offseason and the Bears could be priced out of bringing him back. Despite his age, Forte has a lot of value in the league considering he has been a model of consistency throughout the years. According to Spotract.com, Forte's market value is a contract worth $7.4 million over three years. That is simply too much for the Bears. A running back at 30 never acquires a contract that big. However, Forte has the stats that prove he is worth the investment.

The Bears are not going to pay Forte that deal simply because they have Jeremy Langford and Ka'Deem Carey on the roster that could easily carry the rushing load. That does not mean the Bears do not want Forte back. They just simply cannot pay that type of price. According to Forte, nothing has been decided and he plans on sitting down with general manager Ryan Pace and discussing all of the options.

"He said he has a lot of respect for me. I have a lot of respect for him," Forte said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. "The time will come when we have that conversation. Everybody's acting like it's a going-away party, like a funeral or something. No decisions have been made. I can be back."

The ball could be left in Forte's court when it comes to his return to Chicago. The team has to figure out other things before they can make the running back a priority. According to the Sun-Times, getting Alshon Jeffery signed to a new deal is the first thing on the to-do list. The wide receiver made it clear to ESPN that he has no desire to be hit with the franchise tag meaning the Bears better come ready with a long-term deal. Martellus Bennett also need to have a decision made on his future with trade rumors circling his name.

Jay Cutler knows the Chicago Bears have work to do this offseason while drafting a rookie quarterback to develop is also listed as a need. Cutler recognizes the need to get quarterback help for the future, but he also wants to make sure all of his offensive weapons are back on the field too.

"Twofold. One, I would say I get it, I totally get it. At some point it's going to happen," Cutler said, via the Chicago Tribune.  "They're going to get somebody else. I'm not going to play until I'm 43. I understand that. But on the flipside, I'd be like, we really could have gotten somebody who can help me right now. So that would be my two reactions. If they do it, I will help whoever they bring in as much as I could and kind of see how it unfolds."

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