Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte wants "respect" for his work in the form of a contract extension. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte is still waiting for a long-term contract from the team, but his wish for a new deal isn't just about the money, he said Wednesday on NFL Network, according to a story by Pro Football Talk.
Forte said he does not care if he is the highest-paid player at his position. He wants an extension that shows him "respect" by acknowledging he is among the best running backs in the league.
“All you can ask for is respect, and you go out there and you do your best to earn it," Forte said. "Respect isn’t given to anybody. You’ve got to earn it out there. So the way I go about playing the game, preparing for it and the way I play, I feel I have earned the respect.
"As far as being disrespected, I don’t know. Maybe it’s just the business side of the league. It’s unfortunate that when the organization does treat it as a business (but) when a player does, he gets frowned upon. You have to do what’s best for you and your family."
The 26-year-old Forte was having the best season of his career last fall before spraining the MCL in his right knee late in the season. The running back, a crucial part of Chicago's offense, had 997 yards rushing in only 12 games. The Bears collapsed down the stretch without Forte and quarterback Jay Cutler, who fractured his thumb.
The Bears placed the franchise tag on Forte this offseason and signed free agent running back Michael Bush to a four-year deal.