Phillips on Forte: He's going to be a Bear

Phillips on Forte: He's going to be a Bear
February 1, 2012, 2:41 am
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Bears president Ted Phillips called into Chicago Tribune Live Tuesday to discuss a variety of topics. Among the highlights of the interview with David Kaplan were his job description for new general manager Phil Emery, Matt Forte's future and upcoming free agency.

On Matt Forte's future: "Matt Forte's going to be a Chicago Bear at least for 2012. We'll sit down before we have to make that decision on the franchise tag and talk about what we should do, how we should go about it, how we should approach Matt. Whatever happens, Phil will talk to Matt as needed in a professional manner.

"Everyone considers Matt Forte a really, really good player for us. We want him to help us, we think he can. Negotiations are two-way. At some point, if you can't get a deal done then you use whatever tools you have and we'll have to see over the next couple of weeks how that plays out... He's going to be a Bear."

On Emery: "He has the traditional powers that any typical general manager would have, including the powers that Jerry Angelo had as general manager and, in terms of the areas that are probably important to fans: he has the final authority of the 53-man roster and he has final authority in regards to the head coach after 2012.

"If he has to make the tough decision, it's one of the reasons I hired him. He definitely has presence, he has backbone, he's a tough guy and he's not afraid to make the tough decision and at some point every general manager has to make certain tough decisions."

On 2012 free agency: "In terms of free agency this year, you know, we've always been active. We'll be active again. We'll pick our spots, look for value, and we're going to weigh those free agent possibilities, depending on the positions and how they stack up versus what we can do in the draft."

To watch the entire interview, click on the video above.