The Chicago Bears opened minicamp, and one key piece remained missing - Matt Forte.
The Pro Bowl running back was absent Tuesday as expected, with his franchise-player tender remaining unsigned and the staredown with management continuing. Coach Lovie Smith says Forte's situation is "not an issue for me" and would not say if he expects him to show up for the start of training camp next month.
Forte's contract status is a major issue for a team aiming high, though. The Bears made several big moves during the offseason - none bigger than the trade with Miami for Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall. But one matter remains unresolved.
Forte hasn't signed his $7.74 million tender, and he has a July 16 deadline to agree to a multiyear deal.