A new twist in the Forte contract standoff

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A new twist in the Forte contract standoff

The past few days have seen no movement on Matt Forte and the Bears getting together, either on a signed franchise tender or long-term contract. But that hasnt stopped a rhetoric surge.

First was former Tribune colleague David Haugh positing that the Bears are concerned about Matt Fortes knees, the cumulative result of one injury during his Tulane career and two with the Bears.

The problem with that track is that the Bears didnt drop their offer to Forte from the level they bumped it to during last season, even after he went down in the Kansas City game. Whether he should have played in the Pro Bowl is another matter but as a marketing strategy, Forte clearly allayed concerns about his recovery.

It didnt make him any younger, however, and thats always been the rub, along with the simple fact that the Bears dont have to take their offer up any higher, given their franchise-tag option.

What raising the knee issue does do, though, is undercut Forte in the publics mind and likely quiet some of the pay-the-man calls.

Agent Adisa Bakari denounced the knee concerns in comments to the Sun-Times, and because the Bears are still offering a multi-year deal to their Pro Bowl tailback, his point is well taken.

One likelihood through all of this, according to one NFC personnel executive, is that if the Bears and Forte do not reach a long-term deal this year, he very likely will be in his last Chicago season, because the Bears are not expected to invest a second, higher franchise tag on him in 2013.

And at a year older, Forte will like the next longer-term offer even less than the one he has in front of him now.

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Fremd's Grace Tworek

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Fremd's Grace Tworek

This week's Wintrust Athlete of the Week is Fremd senior Grace Tworek. 

Tworek has led the Vikings on and off the court this season. Last week, the Harvard commit put up a career-high 29 points in a win over Wheeling. 

Learn more about Tworek's success in the video above. 

Saturday on CSN: Loyola, Illinois State host Missouri Valley opponents

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Saturday on CSN: Loyola, Illinois State host Missouri Valley opponents

CSN will have two Missouri Valley Conference games with local teams on Saturday. 

The first game tips at 3 p.m. live on CSN as Evansville heads to Loyola. The second game tips at 7 p.m. and is also live on CSN as Drake will play at Illinois State.

Loyola (13-7, 3-4) is coming off of a tough road loss in double overtime to Northern Iowa. The Ramblers have been led by senior Milton Doyle this season as the former Marshall star is one of the better guards in the Valley.

Evansville (10-10, 1-6) has dropped five straight games as they're struggling to gain any momentum in conference play. Senior guard Jaylon Brown is having an outstanding season for the Purple Aces as he's putting up 21.2 points per game.

The second matchup has Drake (6-13, 4-3) traveling to Illinois State. The Bulldogs have won three of four games and junior guard Reed Timmer is dangerous while former Saint Viator product Ore Arogundade is having a solid sophomore season. 

Illinois State (15-4, 7-0) is leading the Valley after a huge win over Wichita State as they've won eight straight games. The Redbirds are hoping to make a run to an NCAA tournament bid with another home win.