Bears veteran RB Matt Forte confirmed that he would like a new contract extension from the team, but made it clear that he has no plans to holdout.
“Like I told Ryan [Pace] when we talked about it. I told him I wouldn’t hold any grudges or anything. Everybody says you could hold out and use it as leverage. I’m not that type of dude to do that at this point,” Forte said during an interview on “The Boers and Bernstein Show,” via Dan Wierderer of the Chicago Tribune. “If they want to give me a contract extension and have me return as a Chicago Bear and play my entire career here, they can do that. If they don’t, then they won’t. It’s as simple as that. I’m not going to hold out.”
Forte did express some frustration with how things are perceived from a player’s stand point when it comes to using leverage like a holdout to get the best deal.
“I understand both sides,” Forte said. “And you have to as a player. Everybody likes to use the cliché saying, ‘Oh, it’s a business.’ But then when the player wants to make a business decision or treat it as a business, then he’s wrong. Or he gets pointed out as the bad guy.”
Forte admitted that he could be forced to test the open market and possibly leave Chicago next year.
“It’s not my choice to do that,” Forte said. “If I had the choice, I wouldn’t want to do that. But that’s just the reality of it, that it might happen.”
Forte, 29, is in the final year of his four-year, $30.4 million contract that included $13.8 million guaranteed. He stands to make a base salary of $6.65 million for the 2015 season before becoming an unrestricted free agent.
In 2014, Forte appeared in all 16 games for the Bears and ran for 1,038 yards on 266 carries (3.9 YPC) to go along with 102 receptions for 808 yards receiving and 10 total touchdowns. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 25 running back out of 57 qualifying players.