Bears to meet with Forte's representatives this weekend

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Chicago Bears and representatives for star running back Matt Forte will open contract talks this weekend at the NFL Scouting Combine, a league source said Friday.

Forte and the Bears have been at odds over the running back's value for over a year, and Forte is set to hit the free-agent market next month. But the Bears aren't expected to let him become a free agent, and many anticipate the team will use the franchise tag on Forte if the sides can't agree to a long-term solution.

If Forte does in fact receive the franchise tag, his 2012 salary likely will be just $7.7 million -- down from the $9.6 million figure that franchised running backs received in 2011.

Follow Albert Breer on Twitter @AlbertBreer.

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