Three possible outcomes to the Forte contract situation

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Three possible outcomes to the Forte contract situation

The ripples from DeSean Jacksons five-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, calling for 45 million and guaranteeing almost 21 million of it, may indeed come west as far as Chicago. But whether they reach as far as Matt Forte is still far from clear.

It can go one of three ways:

Situation unchanged

The Bears have the franchise tag in place and Forte is guaranteed 7.7 million when if he signs it. They hold the ace of trump here, just as the Baltimore Ravens do with running back Ray Rice, and they are within their collectively bargained rights to use the option accorded them.

Working in the Bears favor is what just transpired in New England, where All-Pro receiver Wes Welker just signed his franchise-tag tender offer for the one-year 9.5 million.

The notable element here is that players typically dont mind the tag as long as they view the situation as moving toward a long-term deal. Even Forte was of that mind.

Welker signed the tender, however, not because a deal was imminent, but just the opposite--that talks were getting worse.

He wasnt going to pass on the offseason sessions and wasnt seeing anything that said the team was coming his way financially.

His teammate, guard Logan Mankins, told CSNChicago.com during Super Bowl week that he signed his franchise-tag tender generally for a related reason He didnt see the Patriots moving and getting something done with him and he simply said the amount of the tag money was too big for him to just dig in his heels and hold out.

Forte will be 27 this season. Realistically, the Bears will not tag him for a second year in 2013 (which they can do). He, like Mankins and Welker, may just realize the other side just isnt going to do a deal and take the money and keep running since he has no choice and wont pass on 460,000 per game.

Pay the man

This is the complicated one. The Bears put what they considered a market deal on the table at the outset of training camp last year and they increased it.

Fortes side points to other deals as being the true market value, plus or minus depending on where Forte is valued vs. other top backs.

Brad Biggs over at the Tribune lays out some of the realities involving other contracts for running backs, which ostensibly do set some sort of market for top backs as being with some 20 million in guaranteed money. The Bears havent offered Forte that much and, with 14 million committed to a Michael Bush contract, its no given that they will.

Bears GM Phil Emery and finance man Cliff Stein are evaluating the teams position. They wont cave to public opinion this is business, not a plebiscite.

Split the difference

The best business deals are usually ones in which both sides walk away from the table a little grumpy. Its somewhere between a win-win and lose-lose, which is preferable from someone going away humiliated and beaten and the other fist-pumping at the win.

The question here is how long Forte projects to be performing at the elite level he has achieved. A five-year deal like McCoys works for the Eagles because McCoy is 23 and the team has the five years over which to amortize the money.

The Bears could pose to Forte that his window is not quite what McCoys is, meaning that their paying a 20 million guarantee isnt quite the same on a four-year deal as on a five.

So the Bears are at 14 million guaranteed. Forte wants, say, 20 million. In the middle, conveniently, is 17 million more than the Bears really have to pay and less than Forte probably would command on a truly open market.

The middle ground may be looking better and better to both.

Preview: Mark Buehrle Day on CSN

Preview: Mark Buehrle Day on CSN

The White Sox take on the Oakland A's on Saturday, and you can catch all the action on CSN and live streaming on CSNChicago.com and the NBC Sports App.

Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 12:30 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: James Shield (1-0, 2.42 ERA) vs. Daniel Gossett (0-0, 7.20 ERA)

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White Sox offense can't stay hot in loss to A's

White Sox offense can't stay hot in loss to A's

A day after having quite the offensive party, the White Sox didn’t save any production for Friday.

The White Sox couldn’t muster any offense in a 3-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics in their series opener at Guaranteed Rate Field in front of 25,370 fans.

After recording 18 hits in Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Twins, the White Sox were held to just seven on Friday, but it felt like fewer. They went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

Mike Pelfrey, who fell to 3-6 on the season, took a step back after delivering a strong performance in his last outing against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 33-year-old struggled with his command against the A’s all night. He pitched 4 2/3 innings and issued five walks. Pelfrey also allowed all three runs on four hits and two homers.

The A’s got on the board early with a two-run shot to center field by Khris Davis. In the fifth, Pelfrey allowed another homer, a solo shot, to Matt Joyce to make it 3-0.

The White Sox bullpen staved off any further production and combined for 4 1/3 shutout innings between four relievers. But they weren’t able to generate any of their own.

Not even ejections from Tim Anderson and Rick Renteria could spark a cold offense.

The White Sox best chance came in the bottom of the ninth, where Melky Cabrera and Jose Abreu opened with back-to-back singles. After an Avisail Garcia flyout, Todd Frazier popped one over A’s first baseman Yonder Alonso, but Abreu was thrown out at second. Matt Davidson flew out to center field at the warning track to end the game.

Friday marked the start of a season-long 10-game homestand, somewhere the White Sox were happy to be after playing 15 of their last 19 on the road.