Earlier today Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte made news by skipping the award ceremony for the Brian Piccolo Award, which also signaled his intent to skip the voluntary veteran minicamp that started today.
Forte also skipped Phase 1 of the voluntary workouts and it was reported that him being missing was due to wanting a contract extension.
The reports never came from Forte; in fact, back on April 13th -- the day the Bears reported to Halas Hall for workouts -- he tweeted the following.
Relax everybody... It's called voluntary W/O for a reason. I've always been there especially when it counts!— Matt Forte (@MattForte22) April 14, 2015
Matt Forte took to social media again today to address the situation again. The following is from his Instagram account.
So with all these media reports saying I'm skipping "voluntary" W/O to leverage a contract it's time to set the record straight. If the Bears want to give me a contract ext. they will; if they don't they won't.
I'm not mad or holding a grudge. I don't operate like that. I'm not there because I'm finishing my third week of rigorous speed training in which we do not do at Halas hall. This was already my plan as of seasons end last year because after evaluating myself (which all players should do) I felt I was missing something.
As for missing voluntary minicamp. There is OTA's (phase 2) and mandatory minicamp in which I will be present for. This is not an explanation of guilt. This is an explanation because I value you all as fans. But what I do not value is your opinion on what I should do to best prepare for the season. As for the Piccolo award this training trip was planned long before our offseason schedule was released to us. I value this award greatly as it is my second time winning this prestigious award. Unfortunately my decision to work on my body and craft in preparation for the season did not coincide.
I've come to realize that this year along with each reception or carry might be my last in a Bears uniform. So with that being said its all LOVE Chicago. #ialwaysshowup
His Instagram text was with a short clip of him working out, so go check it out for a small glimpse into what he's been doing.
The next time Forte is contractually obligated to show up is June 16th, when the Bears open their mandatory veteran minicamp.
Speaking of showing up when mandated, Forte isn't the only Bear that hasn't been around Halas Hall. Tight end Martellus Bennett skipped all of Phase 1 and he wasn't at minicamp today, either. No word from Bennett on his absence so far.
Defensive lineman Jeramiah Ratliff was also reported as missing today, but he was a participant at Phase 1 of the workouts. Also not participating today, but present, was linebacker Jon Bostic.