Matt Forte dodged questions about his contract situation on Friday as well as he has ever dodged defenders on the field.
But the Chicago Bears running back did not indicate that skipping any portion of the regular season was part of his plan as he aims for a long-term contract. The Bears have placed the franchise tag on Forte and the sides have until July 16 to hammer out a multi-year deal. Otherwise, Forte will have to play this season under the one-year tender that is worth $7.7 million.
“I'm still here, for now,” Forte responded to a student at Marist High School when asked if he will suit up for the Bears this season.
Forte was making a charity appearance and pretty much did an end-around when he got questions about his situation.
“I don't really have a choice, do I?” he said, according to Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune. “But yeah, I'll be here.”
Obviously, there are no lingering questions about Forte’s sprained knee because while he missed the final four regular-season games, he received clearance to play in the Pro Bowl.
“I'm in very good shape,'' he said. "That's what I do. I go out every week, week in and week out. I'm probably the healthiest I've ever been since coming out of college. … It's going to be a fun season.”
The offseason will not be much fun if it doesn’t provide the long-term deal he’s been after.
Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs
Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune
Follow @footballpost on Twitter for the latest news