Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte has been at odds with the team over his contract status throughout the offseason, but he struck a particularly realistic tone during a talk with reporters at a charity event at Marist High School on Friday, June 29. Forte has yet to sign the $7.749 million franchise tender the Bears extended to him in the offseason, but when asked if he will suit up for Chicago or holdout, he confirmed that he will play for the Bears in 2012 (via Jon Greenberg of ESPN Chicago):
"I don't think I really have a choice, do I?" he said. "Yeah, I'll be here."
"I'm excited to get in there and talk to Mr. (Jeremy) Bates and get in there with Jay (Cutler) and see what he thinks about the passing game, and see how I can get involved in that, too."
Forte and the team still have until July 16 to reach a long-term deal, but training camp starts on July 26 and the team's starting running back did begin to talk about integrating himself into an offense that changed offensive coordinators since the end of 2011. As for his rehab from the knee injury he suffered last season, Forte noted he has been lifting and running and now feels he is "probably the healthiest I've been since coming out of college."
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