Matt Forte losing hope Bears might make an offer
Forte on Wednesday said he still wants to return to the team next year for a ninth season at age 30 even though past attempts to get management interested have failed.
''I mean, I want to return,'' Forte said. ''But if you're saying am I hopeful that I do return? There's not much to hope for right now because like I've said, I talked to (general manager Ryan Pace) earlier and they haven't said anything back.
''So there's nothing really to hope for.''
Forte said when his agent spoke to Pace, he was told talent evaluations needed to be made first. Pace is in his first year as GM.
''Kind of politically correct type deal,'' Forte labeled Pace's comment. ''I would respect it more if it was just like, `Look we're not going to re-sign you,' or anything like that because then I would know.
''I don't really harp too much on it. I play ball every Sunday as hard as I can and then I worry about that when free agency and all that stuff comes about.''
Forte has gained 768 yards on 190 carries while catching 38 passes fo 332 yards. He missed three games due to a knee injury, and has split time this season with Jeremy Langford and sometimes Ka'Deem Carey.
Forte called the Bears' initial lack of interest understandable because of the team's coaching and general manager switch. However, when he got off to a fast start he expected to be approached about the topic.
''After the first seven games I think I was top three in rushing and stuff, and still producing,'' Forte said. ''But you look at that and you're like, `ok, you guys?' But, um, still nothing came from that.''
Forte said he's not expecting to break the bank.
''At this point I'm not worried about earning power and all that stuff,'' Forte said. ''I've made money as a football player and it's not about that to me.''
He said he told Pace this in the offseason.
''I kind of went to them and was like, `I have a high cap number, why not, let's do something now where it's reasonable and it's a good amount where I'll get to retire a Bear.' Everybody's happy,'' Forte said.
''But I'm not looking for a huge contract deal like I did coming out with my second contract because I know I turned 30. And you know, most 30-year-old running backs don't get those type of deals like I did the second time.''
Forte said he wanted to be respected with a new deal.
''You know, not obviously playing at league minimum or anything like that, but obviously respectful,'' he said. ''But at the same time, I always look at staying home and being here where I've been the past eight years. That's a major factor.
''Teammates I've grown around and they know me and I know them and I've been able to even mentor some of the younger guys. And I also like the legacy part and continuing on with that fact.''
NOTES: Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery did not practice Wednesday due to a hamstring injury suffered in Sunday's loss to the Minnesota Vikings. ... Nickel cornerback Bryce Callahan, who has missed the past two games with a quad injury, was able to practice on a limited basis.
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