Three Former Standout Receivers Discuss New-Look Bears Offense And Matt Forte

LAKE FOREST, IL - JUNE 12: Brandon Marshall #15 of the Chicago Bears works out during a minicamp practice at Halas Hall on June 12, 2012 in Lake Forest, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The 2012 offseason happenings added some new tools and lots of reasons for Bears fans to be excited about the team's prospects. So during Friday's EA Sports event (where Forte also discussed his hunt for Red October a new deal), Melissa Issacson of ESPNChicago found some guys that might know just a few things about pigskin distribution to talk about what the moves made this offseason will do for the 2012 club as well as for some thoughts about Matt Forte's contract demands. Hit the jump for some comments made by Jerry Rice, Michael Irvin and Cris Carter.

Jerry Rice was asked about how big a difference adding Brandon Marshall will make in the new offense.

Basically what their team is saying right now is we're going to win right now. We're not going to try to wait another three, four years. We want it now.

Michael Irvin was asked a couple questions about Cutler and Marshall and the inclusion of Jeremy Bates, but then he had a few words to say about Forte in the offense...

But to all of that, I do believe the Chicago Bears have to be careful because to put something like that together and then you leave out a Matt Forte, what message do you send? People can say, 'Well, they have time, they can do it before the season.' But no you don't. In OTAs is when you put things together. Now is when guys start saying, 'Wow, we look good, we have a chance to be part of something special.' And then they go back and put in special work leading up to training camp. If you wait until training camp, you've missed all this opportunity to prepare for the season. You've already missed the message that we're here for one reason. Now all the other guys on the team are saying, 'Why should I work hard if you're going to treat him like that? They're never going to pay me either.' It sends a horrible message, a horrible message.

Cris Carter also added a few words about the Forte situation...

The way their team is made up, if they're going to try to win the division, win playoff games, he's a great player. What has he done since they drafted him that they asked him to do he couldn't do. The reason why you're supposed to franchise someone, the reason why they made the rule is so you can tag your key players and sign them to long-term contracts. But the Bears are like some other teams and that's not the way they use it. They use it to kind of trap you and utilize the rules against you. Instead of trying to sign you to a long term, they're trying to sign you to one or two deals. Sign you to a one-year tender this year then re-up next year for a franchise. So they have you for two years. They don't have to make a long-term commitment. So I understand Forte. I wouldn't come. I wouldn't play, I wouldn't go out there until they gave me my contract.

With the way everything is going down, there's no way you can bank on your long term future with a team without some security.

What do you think about the comments two Hall of Fame receivers and another Hall finalist had to say?

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