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CHICAGO BEARS SUGGEST A LONG-TERM AGREEMENT FOR THE STAR RUNNING BACK MATT FORTE
Tue, 28 Feb 2012 11:44 AM EST

With a new GM ready, the Chicago Bears will renew contract talks with running back Matt Forte, according to a league source.

In addition to speaking with representatives for Forte during the NFL combine, the Bears have as well conducted meetings from a hotel in central Indianapolis with reps for some of the team’s pending free agents. NFL betting lines

Phil Emery presumed the General Manager post this offseason after Jerry Angelo was discharged. Emery and delegates for Forte as well as some of the team’s other pending free agents are in Indianapolis for the NFL scouting combine.

The prior offer to Forte amounted to between $13 and $14,000,000 in warranted money, a resource expounded and negotiations broke down just prior to the start of last season when the running back discarded to take the 1st and just deal extended by the club.

That contact fell in line with extensions signed by the 49ers’ Frank Gore and the Chiefs’ Jamaal Charles. Football odds

Given Forte’s age (26), it’s thought the team was looking to sign the running back to a 5-year agreement.

Forte enters his 5th year in 2012, and there’s satisfactory evidence to suggest the Bears wouldn’t be making a mistake by signing him to a long term agreement by that point. The frequent notion has been that a running back’s production tapers off after 4 years, but according to media stats, that’s not always the situation.

Concentrating on players who were stable before their 5th season, the media stats inspected a handful of notable running backs that played seasons five thru 7 since 2000.

Just 2 running backs – Shaun Alexander and Corey Dillon – of the group studied did not rush for more than 1,200 yards in their 7th season. 2 others – Fred Taylor and Edgerrin James – enjoyed multiple 1,000-yard seasons after Year 7, while Dillon’s best season failed to come until Year 8 (career highs with 345 rushes for 1,635 yards).

Since entering the league, Forte ranks fifth in yards from scrimmage behind Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones-Drew and Steven Jackson. Peterson, Johnson and Jackson were 1-2-3 in average income for running backs last season, with Jones-Drew sixth. Charles was ninth and Gore 13th.

Forte was named to his 1st Pro Bowl in 2011 after he led the team with 1,487 yards from scrimmage notwithstanding missing the last 4 games after sustaining a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee during a Dec. 4 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Bears coach Lovie Smith said that he suspects Forte will be playing for the Bears for a long time.

“Matt is going to play his football for the Chicago Bears, you commence with that,” Smith related at the NFL scouting combine. “In time, hopefully we will get a contract in place that suits Matt and we feel comfy with. I believe it’s just a matter of time. That will occur ultimately.”

If it does not, the Bears own the choice of designating Forte their organization player before the March 5 deadline.

With the tag, Forte might receive a 1 year deal worth a projected $7.7 million.


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