Promised a new deal, Bears’ Matt Forte won’t stage holdout
BY MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org July 29, 2011 11:44PM
Injured Bears running back Matt Forte says he'll be ready for the Dallas Cowboys on Monday. | Nam Y. Huh~AP
Updated: July 30, 2011 2:06AM
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — Matt Forte wants a new contract. But he wasn’t going to be stupid about it.
Forte, who had 1,616 yards of total offense and nine touchdowns last season, considered a training-camp holdout to get the Bears to give him a new deal. But a promise from Bears general manager Jerry Angelo that ‘‘a deal would get done’’ helped convince him he’d be better off showing up.
‘‘I had to weigh my options,’’ Forte said Friday at training camp. ‘‘Anybody in that situation would think about what they have to do and evaluate the pros and cons of the situation.’’
The cons of holding out clearly outweighed the pros.
‘‘It never benefits a player or a team for somebody to hold out,’’ Forte said. ‘‘But I kind of got my mind put at ease by Jerry. He said that a deal would get done. He assured us repeatedly that a deal would get done. Where I’m from and how I was raised, when someone gives you their word, it goes a long way.’’
A big catch?
Wide receiver Roy Williams was a disappointment in Dallas — he had 37 receptions for 530 yards and five touchdowns last season — but at 6-3, 210, he looks golden to the Bears. Williams, who had 82 catches for 1,310 yards and seven touchdowns in Mike Martz’s offense in Detroit in 2006, agreed to a one-year contract Friday.
‘‘Heck of a player,’’ quarterback Jay Cutler said. ‘‘I know he loves [Martz] to death, and I know [he and] Mike really work well together. A situation like Chicago, he can help us out a lot.’’
‘‘Being from Texas, we have a connection there,’’ coach Lovie Smith said. ‘‘Watched him grow up. Big receiver, great speed. I know he’s been a couple of different places. We like bringing in players like this that we know. He played for Rod Marinelli. Darryl Drake recruited him in high school. We feel like this will be a good spot for him.’’
Farewell to Olsen
It almost seemed like the Bears were doing Greg Olsen a favor by trading him to the Carolina Panthers this week. Olsen has more pass-catching ability than the Bears’ offense can get out of a tight end.
‘‘That’s a part of the game. There’s a business side to it,’’ Smith said. ‘‘I think everybody has a perfect place they belong. Greg did a great job for us. I’ll have a personal relationship with Greg Olsen for the rest of my life. But we’re going in a little different direction.’’