Cutler believes the workhorse running back isn't about to skip games, even if he's a no-show for offseason workouts due to his in-flux contract situation.
"Last time I saw him, he said he was lonely. I get it," Cutler told the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday. "Everyone was gone last year, with the lockout, and you do get that itch to get back in the office and see guys and work out. But Matt's got to do what he's got to do for him. Maybe they get a deal, maybe they don't. But at the end of the day, we'll have him the first game. I rest easy at night knowing that Matt is a true professional and he's going to come in and he's not going to miss a beat."
Forte and the Bears have squabbled over a potential long-term contract for what feels like an eternity (more accurately, a year-plus). Forte is unhappy with the $7.7 million franchise tender the team slapped on him for the 2012 season and was steamed to see the Bears sign Michael Bush to a four-year, $14 million pact.
Chicago's dealings with Forte might not sit well with the fans, but it's a signpost of how teams view the running back position. Forte turns 27 this season after toting the ball more than 1,000 times in 60 games, but the Bears appear content to sign him to one-year deals from now until the end.
Cutler is confident his running back will be on the field when the Bears open against the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 9. That might be the case, but a major payday for Forte remains unlikely. He's been backed into a corner.