Matt Forte: 'I just want to be recognized as one of the best'

Matt Forte says he is not looking to be the highest-paid running back in the NFL.

That’s been assumed because if Forte was trolling for top dollar, he’d likely come up disappointed.

But Forte is clearly frustrated by the business side of things and that came out during an appearance on NFL Network.

I just want to be given a contract where I rank among some of the top running backs,” Forte said in an appearance broadcast Thursday night. “Not the top paid or anything like that. I just want to be recognized as one of the best.”

Under terms of the franchise tag, Forte would earn $7.742 million this season. The Bears are conducting their final OTA today and Forte has missed the entire voluntary offseason program as he angles for a multi-year deal would guarantee him significantly more. After signing their draft class, the Bears had roughly $3.81 million in remaining cap room meaning there is more than ample space to get a deal done.

"It's unfortunate that the organization (can) treat it as a business, when the player does he gets frowned upon," Forte said. "But you have to make do with what's best for you and your family. All my teammates know I'm going to be there for them and give them the best in my heart out there on the field."

We’ll see if something can actually get done. The Bears and Forte have until July 16 to reach agreement on a long-term contract.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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