The start of preseason workouts in the NFL is marred by players who want a new contact refusing to turn up and train with the team.
So far we have seen Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Adrian Peterson of the Vikings and the Seahawks' Michael Bennett all refuse to turn up to conditioning workouts in a quest to get what they want.
Thankfully for Chicago Bears fans, their star player who hasn't turned up for voluntary workouts isn't looking to cause any trouble.
Earlier this week, Bears running back Matt Forte went on social media to explain that the reason he wasn’t at Bears voluntary workouts or minicamp was because he was doing “rigorous speed training” on his own because he felt it was an area of his game in need of attention.
Forte went public with those comments to “set the record straight” to those who thought he was skipping workouts in order to create leverage in a push for a new contract with the team.
He continued setting the record straight in an interview with WSCR in Chicago on Thursday and said that while his current absence isn’t about creating leverage, he does want a new deal from the team.
Forte is in the final year of his contract and the Pro Bowl star revealed that he met with GM Ryan Pace early in the offseason to say his piece. He says he understands “the Bears have the leverage” when he turns 30 later this year, but not why players are viewed as bad guys for wanting new deals.
“I understand both sides,” Forte said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “And you have to as a player. Everybody likes to use the cliché saying, ‘Oh, it’s a business.’ But then when the player wants to make a business decision or treat it as a business, then he’s wrong. Or he gets pointed out as the bad guy.”
What may be of the most importance moving forward is that Forte also said that he won’t hold out from mandatory work in an attempt to get the Bears to extend his contract beyond 2015 and that he won’t hold any bitterness toward the team if he doesn’t get a new deal.
That should keep Forte front and center in the Chicago offense and allow him to do all he can to convince the Bears or someone else to give him a deal for the years to come.