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Forte threatens to sit out games until Bears furnish new deal

  • By NFL.com
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Bears running back Matt Forte is serious enough about getting a new contract that he's threatening to sit out the team's preseason games, the Chicago Tribune reported Sunday.

Forte told the newspaper that without a new deal, he wants to protect his body, citing the shaky field conditions at Soldier Field among his concerns.

Bears general manager Jerry Angelo told the Tribune that Chicago has no timetable to finalize a contract extension for Forte.

The Bears' first preseason game comes Saturday at home against the Buffalo Bills, and Forte is weighing his options.

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

Forte first threatened to hold out during training camp, but ultimately reported on time. The idea of playing in a game is a different matter for the three-year veteran who's started 48 straight for the Bears.

"Any time the field is not good enough to practice on -- that is a concern," Forte said. "There is always a concern with injuries. You can get injured going out to practice."

"I have to talk to coach (Lovie Smith) and talk to Jerry and my agent (Adisa Bakari). We'd have to have a big meeting to really talk about (his contract situation and his safety)."

Forte has amassed 3,236 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns during his career, with 171 catches for 1,495 and seven scores. He was drafted in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft out of Tulane.

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