Bears, Matt Forte done talking about contract extension
BY SEAN JENSEN firstname.lastname@example.org September 6, 2011 3:34PM
Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte runs on the field during warm-ups before an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns in Chicago, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Updated: September 6, 2011 3:44PM
The Bears are done talking about a contract extension with running back Matt Forte until the 2011 season ends, general manager Jerry Angelo told WBBM Monday.
“It’s the team’s prerogative, not to negotiate,” Forte’s agent Adisa Bakari said. “Matt’s going to do his best to focus on the season.”
All along, Forte was hoping to get a new contract, since he’s clearly out-performed his rookie deal, which was set to pay him $550,000 this season. By contrast, backup Chester Taylor, who was signed as an unrestricted free agent, made $7 million in guarantees in his one and only season with the Bears.
It’s unclear how much Forte wanted. But, it clearly was more than the $13 to $14 million the Bears reportedly had on the table, according to ESPN Chicago.
“Matt was only desiring to be compensated at a level that matches his production,” Bakari said. “We know what comparable running backs have been paid. And Matt was seeking that level of competition.
“Nothing more, nothing less.”
Angelo told WBBM that after working toward a deal, the Bears are now going to focus on the season.
“That’s something we talked about when we went into the negotiations,” Angelo said. “We were hopeful. Not saying the door is shut. But right now our focus is going to be on the season.”
We’ve spent a lot of time trying to work out an extension with Matt, and his agent did as much work as he could do. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to come to an agreement at this point, so we’ve decided that we’re just going to focus on the season,” Bears general manager Jerry Angelo told WBBM radio on Monday night. “ That’s something we talked about when we went into the negotiations.
We were hopeful. Not saying the door is shut. But right now our focus is going to be on the season.”