Forte wants to stay in Chicago but doesn't want franchise tag

Running back Matt Forte expects the Chicago Bears to use the franchise tag on him during the offseason. But he isn't quite sure how he will react when, and if, that happens.

"I wouldn't say 'hold out,' but people probably wouldn't know where I was," Forte told WMVP-AM in Chicago on Wednesday, via ESPN Chicago, regarding what he might do if he receives the tag.

Forte, whose rookie contract is up, wants an extension from the Bears, but he said he expects the team to use the franchise tag. He said his reaction would depend "on what the motive" of the team is.

Forte didn't mention the possibility of holding out Thursday during an interview on "ProFootballTalk Live", but he did elaborate on what he would deem an appropriate use of the tag.

"Hopefully," he said, the tag would be used "to negotiate another deal" and not "just ... to keep me here for one more year."

Forte said he hasn't negotiated with the Bears in some time.

"There haven't been talks since they stopped talking during the season," he said. "I guess the deal is now they have to get in a new GM, and then I guess talks start from there."

After the team fired general manager Jerry Angelo, Forte indicated that the change in front-office personnel made him more optimistic that a deal could get done to keep him in Chicago.

Forte has been the Bears' primary ballcarrier the past four seasons since he was a second-round draft pick in 2008. He rushed for 997 yards and three touchdowns this season and also snagged 52 catches for 490 yards and a score before a knee injury sidelined him in Week 13.

Forte underwent a physical and has been medically cleared to play in the Pro Bowl, the Bears announced.

Another Bears player whose future is in flux is wide receiver Johnny Knox, who suffered a back injury during a Dec. 18 game. The Bears' official website reported Wednesday that the team is unsure if Knox, who's rehabbing from the injury, will be able to return in time for training camp.

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