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Matt Forte still optimistic on deal with Bears

Bears running back Matt Forte will make $7.75 million this season if a long-term deal is not reached with the team or if he doesn't hold out. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte said he is hopeful that a long-term deal can be reached because of an extension deadline that ends Monday.

"Hopefully, it will end up well," Forte told ESPN.com. "And when? Hopefully by the 16th. That's the final date, so I'm looking forward to trying to get it done by then. I'm a very optimistic guy, so going into this weekend I'm pretty optimistic that it will get done," Forte said. "Saying my prayers and everything, hopefully it will get done."

Forte will make $7.74 million this season if a long-term is not reached. The Bears placed the franchise tag on Forte and he has the option of holding out.

Forte can hold out until Week 10, but if he does he will forfeit the pro-rated portion of his contract. Forte played in 12 games last season, rushing for 995 yards and three touchdowns and catching 52 passes for another 490 yards.

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