Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte had until 3 p.m. today to sign a long-term deal and avoid playing the 2012 season under the franchise tag. That deadline, according to various reports, has been met. Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times reported on Monday morning that Forte and the Bears agreed to a four-year contract, with ESPN's Adam Schefter adding that the deal is expected to be worth $8 million a year.
The amount of guaranteed money in the deal has yet to be revealed, though. According to earlier reports, Forte was seeking $20 million in guaranteed money, while the Bears were offering something closer to $15 million guaranteed over the lifetime of the deal.
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