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Matt Forte Contract Update: Franchise Tag May Result In Holdout

In a recent interview, Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte indicated he would be none-to-pleased if the Bears offer him a franchise tag for the 2012 NFL Season. Forte said that if the team offered him the franchise tag without an intention to continue negotiations for a bigger contract, he would potentially be a no-show at training camp:

"I wouldn't say holdout, but people probably wouldn't know where I was," said Forte...

The former Tulane running back has been Chicago's top running back for the last four years since entering the league as the Bears' 2nd round draft pick in 2008 -- and has been seeking an extension all season, publicly stating his displeasure along the way.

The Bears offered Forte an extension before the season, reportedly worth $13-15 million in guaranteed money, but he declined at the time. Forte was having a career year in 2011 when an ankle injury made him miss the team's final four games -- a fact that did not bother the 4th-year pro:

"A lot of people said do I regret turning down the money and then playing and getting injured, I would say no, because I'm not going to let anyone undervalue me as a player," Forte said. "I know what type of value I have to the team and the offense. And I'm not going to just accept a deal because that's what their offer was and they're not going to budge..."

In Forte's absence, the team received strong performances from the young duo of RB Kahlil Bell (4.3 yards per carry on 79 attempts in 2011) and practice squad call-up RB Armando Allen, presumably giving the Bears extra leverage in the on-going negotiations.

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