Breaking: Chicago Bears apply franchise tag to RB Matt Forte

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 04: Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears takes the hand-off on the play in which he injured his knee against the Kansas City Chiefs at Soldier Field on December 4, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Chiefs defeated the Bears 10-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Per Sean Jensen and many others, the Bears have placed the franchise tag on RB Matt Forte.

With the deadline approaching on Monday afternoon, it seems the Bears saw not much value in waiting until Monday to make this move. While it doesn't negate a future deal, it's certain to have an effect on any ongoing negotiations.

Updates after the jump.

Forte's agent had this to say in response to the tag:

"It is not a surprise at all," Bakari said. "Matt's a phenomenal running back, whether as a ball carrier or receiver. There are few players who share his skill set."

Forte will make $7.7 million this year, a substantial raise from what he made in the last year of his rookie deal. As stated before, Bakari and Forte will continue to push negotiations, but they may finally realize that the Bears were serious when they said their offer was their offer.

Update: Per Mike Florio, Forte is likely to hold out:

...Forte likely won’t view the tag as a badge of honor. Forte has been pushing for a long-term deal, and he likely will hold out through the offseason, training camp, and the preseason, signing at the earliest a few days before Week One.

Big props to Spongie for sneaking a fanpost in while this was getting typed up.

The man will get paid--just not in the way he wanted. What do you think?

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