Framework for Forte deal

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Framework for Forte deal

Philadelphia Eagles talented running back LeSean McCoy has finally struck a deal with the team on a long-term contract. The Eagles and McCoy agreed to a new five-year 45 million deal with 20.75 million in guarantees.

What does it mean for Matt Forte and his bid for a long-term contract?

Its just another contract in the book that Fortes representation will use as framework for a new deal. The Bears initial offer, under former GM Jerry Angelo, included only 15 million in guarantees. Since then, three of the NFLs most talented backs have locked up long-term deals. They are:

McCoy (Eagles) - Age 23. Five-year, 45 million which includes 20.75 million in guarantees.

Marshawn lynch (Seahawks) Age 26. Four-year, 31 million which includes 17 million in guaranteed money.

Arian Foster (Texans) Age 25. Five-year, 43.5 million which includes 20.75 million in guarantees. This deal is interesting because Foster will receive 30 million in the first three years of the contract.

Matt Forte (Bears) Age 26. As of right now, Forte and the Bears have until July 16th to work out a long-term deal. With Forte currently designated as the team's Franchise Player, he's scheduled to make 7.74 million in 2012 if they don't come to a long-term contract agreement.

Forte has not participated in the Bears' offseason workout program and it would seem doubtful whether or not he will participate in the team's veteran minicamp scheduled for June 12-14. One would think common ground can be reached by then with the recent string of running backs agreeing to long-term contracts around the league.

The framework is there when digesting the aforementioned contracts. Forte was smart not to take the 15 million in guarantees. He is looking at north of 20 million minimum in guaranteed money if a new five-year contract is agreed upon.

Doug McDermott's return boosts Bulls' bench

Doug McDermott's return boosts Bulls' bench

Doug McDermott wasn’t exactly hunting for his first shot, but the first time he touched the ball in an NBA game in nearly a month wasn’t the optimal situation for him to let one fly.

It wasn’t in transition where he runs to an opening behind the 3-point line, nor was it a drive-and-kick situation where the help defense collapsed and left him open. It was a regular, simple, pass to the perimeter and McDermott’s defender was in reasonable proximity with 3:23 left in the first quarter.

He launched and the crowd soon roared its approval as his sweet jumper was sorely missed by the Bulls bench brigade—and moments later when he ran the floor for a fearless layup that caused Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to call a timeout, McDermott showed he missed the United Center crowd too, calling for more noise on his way to the bench.

“Anytime you have a guy like Doug, he comes back and makes his first 3, that’s hard to do,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He stepped up with confidence on that first shot. I’m sure he had a lot of nerves getting back out there.”

Missing 12 games and suffering two concussions, McDermott looked right at home in 25 minutes of run Thursday as the Bulls were able to rely on their reserves in some form in their 95-91 win over the previously perfect road warriors known as the Spurs.

“We defended and kept them off the foul line,” McDermott said. “Coach (Jim) Boylen was with them, so we feel we know them and I think all this time they were missing my defense.”

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The last statement was certainly tongue-in-cheek, but the Bulls’ bench production was certainly missing in action while he was out with the concussion protocol. So much so that his return prompted the Bulls’ coaching staff to call out the reserves in the morning shootaround, demanding more.

“It’s definitely Dwyane (Wade) and Jimmy (Butler) and (Rajon) Rondo (but) the coaching staff kinda called out our bench like, we gotta have you tonight, bench,” McDermott said. “We took that to heart, we were really locked in.”

Seemingly his presence aided the Bulls’ spirits and production, as the Bulls’ bench had the least effective scoring bench in the NBA since Nov. 13, the day after McDermott hit the unforgiving floor against the Wizards for his second concussion this season.

Their net rating ranks ahead of only the Wizards, Mavericks and Nets, who are a combined 17-45 this season. Their effective field goal percentage, which takes into account 3-pointers, is worst in the league in that span (42.3 percent).

When McDermott was healthy for that smaller sample size, the Bulls’ bench ranked fifth in offensive efficiency, seventh in net rating, and fifth in efficient field goal percentage. Whether McDermott – and his absence – was directly related to those numbers, it’s clear the Bulls are better when they have their best reserve – and only true floor spacers on the second unit – on the court.

“We’re all professionals and we want to help the guys who are busting their butts in the first unit to get us the leads,” McDermott said. “Tonight we did a great job of sustaining it. We take it personal when teams come back on us.”

[MORE: Pau Gasol relishes consistency with Spurs he couldn't find with Bulls]

Nikola Mirotic was four of eight from the field, and Cristiano Felicio seems to be back in Fred Hoiberg’s good graces as he’s carved out a rotation spot for himself with nine points and seven rebounds in 18 minutes.

It seems as if Hoiberg will stick with this rotation of players, at least for a little while until Michael Carter-Williams returns from his injuries. If McDermott is the mark of the Bulls’ bench going from bottom feeder to adequate, it should show this month.

“When he’s out there on the floor and we get him coming off screens, it forces the defense to shift as another person they need to be aware of,” Hoiberg said. “It opens up driving lanes for our guys. It was great to have Doug back with us.”

Morning Update: Bulls beat Spurs in Pau Gasol's return to Chicago

Morning Update: Bulls beat Spurs in Pau Gasol's return to Chicago

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