Matt Forte was one of a number of players that was considering holding out but has since changed his mind and returned to the team.
Forte is set to make a meager $550,000 for the upcoming season while his backup, Chester Taylor, will have received over $8 million by the end of 2011.
Bears Gm Jerry Angelo mentioned that Forte is a priority for the team.
“Things are starting to settle down,” general manager Jerry Angelo said. “Once (contract negotiator) Cliff (Stein) gets the numbers back in order again … I told Matt personally, certainly talked to his agent (that the Bears will work on the matter).
“When we talked these past weeks, I told him now our intent is to do (an extension). That’s a strong word. When I say intent, then we’re motivated to do something. The timetable is yet to be determined. Just be patient. Take care of your job as you already have and continue to do and then we’re going to do our part. But again it’s a negotiation. Got to find that common ground. That part of it will be a challenge. You’re not talking about a UFA. There’s an open market there, you bid. These extensions are much tougher because agents normally look at the UFA market to set their comps. But he’s not a UFA. That’s the challenge. We’ve had a pretty good track record. Cliff’s the best. I trust Matt’s agent (Adisa Bakari). We’ve dealt with him. He’s a very good agent. So I feel optimistic. But again, we’ll just let that itself out.”
Forte will certainly be using DeAngelo Williams recent deal of five-years at $43 million as benchmark.