McCoy deal doesnt matter in Forte talks, unless.


McCoy deal doesnt matter in Forte talks, unless.

Every time a premier running back gets a contract done, the immediate reaction is to gauge its significance with respect to Matt Fortes visavis the Bears.

This time it is LeSean McCoy getting a five-year pact worked out with the Philadelphia Eagles, one that is set for 45 million overall but more important, 20.8 million guaranteed, according to the reporting of Mike Florio over at

Thats substantially more guaranteed and in total than the Bears have on the table for Forte. But it is unlikely that this alone moves the needle enough for a Forte deal.

McCoy ranked fourth in the NFL with 1,309 rushing yards last season and led the league with 17 rushing TDs. No other running back had more than 12; Forte had three and 997 yards in his slightly more than 11 games (he was injured early in game 12).

But working against Forte, who has been offered more than 13 million guaranteed, are the franchise tag option that the Bears have and exercised, guaranteeing Forte 7.7 million for the 2012 season.

The bigger issue, however, is that McCoy is 23 and heading into his fourth season. The Eagles can reasonably count on McCoy to be in place for the five years of his deal, or at least four, followed by an extension or restructuring to adjust a cap number and give him more cash.

Forte is 26, turning 27 in December. He is not attending the voluntary offseason program this week and is not expected to show up for the organized team activities beginning Monday. He has not signed his tender offer and is not under contract at this point.

His bargaining position is simply not as good as McCoys, and positionleverage is everything.


The reality of an impasse of this nature is that it is commonly broken when one side makes enough of a concession to allow the other to take the offer and not lose face for caving in.

The McCoy deal and its 20 million guaranteed doesnt obligate or pressure the Bears in any real way. But as the market is being further set, the Bears, who have taken typically good care of their own veterans who have been and are still expected to be major contributors.

That would be Forte. And if the Bears sweeten the deal just a little, that may get it done.

Bears NFL Draft Preview: Creating WR depth while waiting for Kevin White's emergence

Bears NFL Draft Preview: Creating WR depth while waiting for Kevin White's emergence Bears Insider John "Moon" Mullin goes position-by-position as the Bears approach the 2017 Draft, taking a look at what the Bears have, what they might need, and what draft day and after could have in store. Seventh in a series.

Bears pre-draft situation

Alshon Jeffery is on to Philadelphia after striking a one-year deal with the Eagles. For an offense that has let go of Jeffery, Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, Martellus Bennett and Jay Cutler since the arrival of John Fox and his coaching staff in 2015, the search for replacement firepower has seldom been more urgent.

The splash from Cameron Meredith (14 games, 66 receptions) was a significant bright spot from the dismal '16. Bears are still waiting for some impact — ANY impact — from Kevin White after making him the No. 7 pick of the '15 draft and seeing his two NFL seasons end with broken leg bones. White was leading the Bears with 19 catches through four games last season when he was lost for the year, so some very guarded optimism is allowable.

"Kevin is going to have to step up, stay healthy, and he knows that, and he's motivated," said GM Ryan Pace. "We're excited about a handful of guys and we still have the draft ahead of us, too."

The free-agency addition of Eddie Royal in '15 was intended to bring an immediate infusion of veteran savvy and production at the nickel spot. Both his seasons were gutted by injuries, with a total of 70 receptions, the second-lowest two-year total of his nine-year career. Royal had foot surgery in December and is expected to be released when sufficiently healed.

This offseason was marked by a commitment to upgrading wideout speed, coming in the forms of Markus Wheaton from Pittsburgh and Kendall Wright from Tennessee.

"Markus is a deep threat receiver," Pace said. "[In] 2015 he was Top 10 in reception average. I really like his makeup and his toughness going all the way back to Oregon State, but he's a guy who can really run and gives us that element in our offense that I think that we need, speed. Unfortunately, he had a shoulder injury last year that happened kind of early in the season and then eventually needed surgery on it. But he's fully cleared now and we feel good about that now."

Pre-draft depth-chart'ing starters

WR - Kevin White

WR - Cam Meredith

WR - Markus Wheaton/Kendall Wright

Reserves: Dres Anderson, Josh Bellamy, Daniel Braverman, Rueben Randle, Eddie Royal, Deonte Thompson

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Bears draft priority: Low/moderate

Names were added to the pool of options but none of the stature of Jeffery, and until the aggregate proves to better than simply average, the Bears will always look to add impact points-producers when the options present themselves. Rarely has their receiver corps had so many unprovens going into a season.

The organization believes White's run of bad luck is due to change and reduced some of the positional urgency with the offseason additions. Wheaton signed a two-year deal, Wright for one year, Meredith has had just one meaningful season and White is a virtual "rookie" for the third straight year.

Pace has drafted a wideout in each of his two drafts, White in '15 and Braverman last year. Braverman played three games without a catch and will be in another intense competition for a roster spot. Best guess would be a late-round wideout with abilities to enhance the return game.

Keep an eye on ...

Kenny Golladay, Northern Illinois — Caught 160 passes over two NIU seasons. Fits Bears' template for size (6-4, 218) and had private workout with them.

Jordan Westerkamp, Nebraska — Bears staffed his workout and could find a spot as a practice-squad player able to fill nickel role.

Chad Williams, Grambling — Private workout for Bears, had huge production and may be a value late-round pick for development.

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Tennessee RB Alvin Kamara

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Tennessee RB Alvin Kamara

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of more than 100 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player.

Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee

5'10" | 214 lbs.

2016 stats:

103 CAR, 596 YDS, 9 TD | 40 REC, 392 YDS, 4 TD


Second round

Scouting Report:

"Ascending, competitive runner who has flashed explosive NFL talent at various times over the last two seasons. A committed runner with excellent balance who finds yardage that isn't blocked for him. While he has never logged 20 carries in a single game, he has the talent to play on all three downs if he can prove his durability." — Lance Zierlein,

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