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Matt Forte 'optimistic' about new Chicago Bears deal

If you had plans with Matt Forte this weekend, they're off.

The Chicago Bears running back has until Monday to work out a long-term extension. With the clock ticking, Forte plans to spend the weekend talking shop with Chicago's front office.

"Hopefully, it will end up well," Forte told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Friday. "And when? Hopefully by the 16th. That's the final date, so I'm looking forward to trying to get it done by then."

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The sides have made "considerable progress," according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. That report is surprising considering Forte's lack of leverage, and his admission that he'd wind up playing this season with or without a new deal.

Forte has yet to sign his one-year, $7.749 million franchise tender in hopes the Bears will make a long-term commitment. It's a drama that's played out all offseason, but Forte believes the wait will be worth it:

"I'm a very optimistic guy, so going into this weekend I'm pretty optimistic that it will get done," Forte told Schefter. "Saying my prayers and everything, hopefully it will get done."

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