Matt Forte wants new contract before he plays in preseason

First, Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte considered a training camp holdout.

Now, he’s mulling the idea of not suiting up for preseason games if he doesn’t have a long-term contract extension before Saturday’s exhibition opener against the Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field.

Forte is concerned about his health until a new deal arrives. General manager Jerry Angelo has said he’s “motivated” to get a contract done for Forte but nothing has been hammered out to this point and now Forte has the additional concern of shoddy field conditions at Soldier Field that caused the team to cancel a practice there Friday night.

I've considered not playing in the preseason games," Forte told the Chicago Tribune. "But just to make that a fact, and say 'I'm not going to,' I haven't gotten there yet."


A 2008 study released by the American Journal of Sports Medicine showed injuries are five times more likely to happen in preseason games than training camp practices. Big injuries rocked other teams at the running back position a year ago in preseason but Bears coach Lovie Smith expects his back to play unless he’s injured between now and Saturday.

“We limit reps for everyone, but it's no different," Smith said. "Contracts don't play a part in anything with us. Matt's out here practicing every day."

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune