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Report: Bears Have Made 'Strong Offer' To Retain Running Back Matt Forte

The Chicago Bears are determined to keep Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte around -- team president and CEO Ted Phillips says the team has made Forte a "strong offer" and hopes he'll accept it, according to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.

"I think not only do we appreciate him and have told him so, but I think the offer we've made him shows that, too. Now, different people can disagree on the ultimate value," Phillips said. "But we feel we've made a strong offer to him, and are still hopeful he accepts it."

Forte has had a solid first four seasons in the Windy City, rushing for a total of 4,233 yards and 21 touchdowns. But he expressed frustration last week when the team signed Michael Bush to a four-year contract, perhaps putting his job security in jeopardy.

Phillips insists, though, that Forte has nothing to worry about, and his job is safe in Chicago long-term if he wants it.

"Matt Forte is our No. 1 running back. He's been told that, and he knows that. We all know that. He's going to be a Bear for 2012, at least," the team exec said. "He knows he has a long-term offer on the table, and we hope, at some point and time, he chooses to accept that."

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