Bears, Forte put off contract talks
CHICAGO – Contract talks between the Bears and running back Matt Forte are on hold.
Forte was looking for an extension as he headed into the fourth and final year on his rookie contract, but general manager Jerry Angelo said talks most likely were off until after the season.
“We’ve spent a lot of time trying to work out an extension with Matt, and his agent did as much work as he could do. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to come to an agreement at this point, so we’ve decided that we’re just going to focus on the season,” Angelo told WBBM-AM on Monday night. “That’s something we talked about when we went into the negotiations.”
Fifth in the NFL with 4,731 yards from scrimmage since he entered the league, Forte had considered holding out at the start of training camp but decided against it. The Bears were willing to negotiate, but the talks are being tabled for now.
Angelo said the decision to break off the talks was mutual and added, “We visited a few times in our last meeting. We felt like with the season upon us, that right now we want to focus. Matt wants to focus on the season and having a great year that we all expect and know that we will.”
Jaguars cut QB Garrard, plan to start McCown: At Jacksonville, Fla., the Jacksonville Jaguars released veteran quarterback David Garrard on Tuesday, a stunning move that will save the franchise $9 million this season.
Whether it saves coach Jack Del Rio’s job remains to be seen. Team owner Wayne Weaver has said Jacksonville needs to make the playoffs for Del Rio to stick around for a 10th season. Del Rio made it clear late last season that he had grown tired of Garrard’s inconsistent ways, but the coach remained steadfast through training camp and the preseason that Garrard was his starter.
That changed Tuesday.
Del Rio will turn over the starting job to Luke McCown, who outplayed Garrard and rookie Blaine Gabbert in the preseason. But McCown played mostly with and against second- and third-teamers. McCown completed 12 of 18 passes for 133 yards, with two touchdowns, no interceptions and no sacks.
Garrard missed the preseason opener because of a sore back, but started the final three games. He completed 50 percent of his passes for 216 yards, with no touchdowns and an interception. He was sacked three times.
Quick hits: Giants linebacker Jonathan Goff will miss the season with a torn ACL. He had 80 tackles and one sack last season. ... The San Francisco 49ers signed linebacker Tavares Gooden to a one-year deal, giving the team a reliable defender against tight ends.