Bears, Forte discussing new contract

Bears fans have been beaten over the head with news regarding Matt Forte's contract. Yet it appears the team and his agent will finally sit down this weekend to iron out a deal. Now that's newsworthy.

Bear Report has reported on Matt Forte's contract situation since last offseason. As such, we've stayed away from every little bit of meaningless news regarding his possible extension with the team. We discussed the possibility of the team franchising him, but we didn't find it necessary to beat you over the head, Jeremy Lin style, every time Forte said he wanted a new deal.

Hopefully, you appreciate the brevity.

Yet we finally have some news that is worth talking about. Albert Breer of the NFL Network reported yesterday that, according to a league source, the Bears and Forte's agent, Adisa Bakari, will sit down this weekend in Indianapolis during the NFL Scouting Combine. The two sides will try to work out a contract extension for the Pro Bowl running back.

Former GM Jerry Angelo was reportedly only willing to offer the team's best offensive player $13 million-$14 million in guaranteed money, far less than the contracts of comparable running backs DeAngelo Williams ($21 million), Chris Johnson ($30 million) and Adrian Peterson ($36 million). As such, contract talks were put on hold during the season last year.

The team has made it clear the franchise tag is an option if an extension cannot be reached. The tag for a running back this year, under the new collective bargaining agreement, will be around $7.7 million, far less than the $9.6 million it was in 2011.

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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of Bear Report magazine and and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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