JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 1: Maurice Jones-Drew #32 of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs the ball against the Indianapolis Colts in the first half of their game at EverBank Field on January 1, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
On January 31, 2011, just following a 1,000-yard season for the second time in his three-year career, Matt Forte let the Bears know that he was interested in hammering out a new contract with the team. It made sense for the Bears to placate the 25-year old running back as he entered the final year of his rookie contract. Yet, it wasn't until July 17, 2012, nearly 18 months after he originally asked for a new contract that he finally got his long-term deal with the Bears.
Somehow a contract that absolutely made sense for both sides and the Bears even called their "first priority" after the lockout turned into a very public dispute that lasted well over a season to resolve. It's certainly possible that Jerry Angelo and the Bears were very cheap during the negotiations of the deal, but there's a name in the negotiations that jumps out.
Forte's agent Adisa Bakari.
Many have questioned the decision-making from Jones-Drew's camp during his lengthy hold-out that has now devolved into talks of a potential trade. At the helm of that camp is none other than Bakari.
What do you know? The guy that took 18 months and the franchise tag to finally negotiate a deal for Forte is now calling the shots for Maurice Jones-Drew who is scheduled to make over $9 million over the next two season.
It's purely speculative that Bakari is the one at the heart of the dispute that has now somehow delved into trade talks, but considering Forte's contract struggles and the recent firing of Bakari by fellow Jaguars running back, Rashad Jennings, it's not unreasonable to make the connection.
And I'm not the only one that thinks so. Paul Kuharsky said as much on 1010xl on Wednesday morning: