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Bears Make Contract Offer To Matt Forte?

ESPNChicago.com’s Michael C. Wright reports that the sources have informed him that the Chicago Bears have made an offer to RB Matt Forte.

Talks between the Chicago Bears and running back Matt Forte have escalated to the point where the team has extended a contract offer worth in the neighborhood of up to $15 million guaranteed,” notes Wright.

According to NFL sources, the Bears initially used the six-year contract worth $32 million ($10 million guaranteed) signed by Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles as the base line for a potential Forte deal,” Wright adds.

But Frank Gore‘s recent contract could end up impacting Forte’s asking price as he received a three-year, $21 million extension, which includes $13.5 million guarantees. Gore is set to make $4.5 million for the 2011 season so base salary sits at $25.6 million.

Both sides have said that they would like to get a deal done before the start of the NFL season but if there’s no movement in the next few weeks, there’s a good chance that nothing gets done during the season.

Forte could be able to command a better deal than $15 million in guaranteed money if he hits the free agent market. He may not get the $21 million that DeAngelo Williams got but there’s likely to be a number of interested teams.