Chicago, IL – Running back Matt Forte has agreed to a four-year, $32 million contract with the Chicago Bears. The deal was confirmed by league sources on Monday afternoon.
Forte was already placed under a franchise tag by the Chicago Bears and both side had until 4 p.m. ET to reach an agreement for a long-term deal. Had Forte and the Bears failed to reach new terms the team’s star running back would have played the 2012 season under the $7.749 million tender. Forte could have also chosen to sit out the 2012 season, an unlikely scenario regardless of pay.
The long-term contract is a sign that the Chicago Bears training staff is confident in Forte’s return after he suffered a sprain to the medial collateral ligament in his right knee. Forte’s injury on Dec. 4 left the Bears with their starting RB for the remainder of the 2011-2012 season.
Despite his injury Matt Forte was selected to his first Pro Bowl appearance after rushing for 1,487 yards from scrimmage and 997 rushing. Forte last season averaged 4.9 yards per carry and was the first Chicago Bears running back to make the Pro Bowl team since Neal Anderson in 1991.
The dominance of Matt Forte at the running back position can’t be underestimated, after Chicago lost Forte and quarterback Jay Cutler the team struggled to finish the season, ending with an 8-8 record, narrowly missing a playoff berth.
Forte played during the 2011-2012 season with a contract extension and on several occasions voiced his want for a long-term extension.
With Jay Cutler once again healthy and Matt Forte returning to the fold Chicago Bears fans have plenty to be excited about as the 2012-2013 NFL season begins to heat up.
Are you excited for Matt Forte and Jay Cutler’s return to the Chicago Bears?