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Matt Forte says he has no choice but to play in 2012

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte admitted Friday he's been backed into a corner, with no option but to suit up for the season.

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"I don't think I really have a choice, do I?" Forte told ESPNChicago.com. "Yeah, I'll be here."

Forte refused to make any promises about attending training camp, but a holdout appears unlikely.

The fifth-year back will earn $7.749 million this season if he signs his franchise tender, which remains an option up until a week before the season opener. Forte has until July 16 to work out a long-term deal with the team, but the Bears appear unmotivated to pull the trigger on a new deal.

Forte only wanted to talk about the task ahead:

"It's going to be a fun season," he said. "I'm excited to get in there and talk to (quarterbacks coach Jeremy) Bates and get in there with Jay (Cutler) and see what he thinks about the passing game, and see how I can get involved in that, too."

This is promising news for Bears fans. That group might sympathize with Forte's (endless) struggle for respect, but nobody will mourn the end of this contract dispute.

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