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Unhappy Forte says Bears 'OK grinding me into a pulp'

Matt Forte keeps playing, but the Bears aren't paying.

The team, sitting roughly $18 million below the salary cap, remains reluctant to complete a long-term extension for the running back who turns 26 in December, instead planning to slap him with their franchise tag after the season, according to the Chicago Tribune.

While the franchise designation would pay Forte roughly $7.7 million for 2012, it leaves him in limbo once again for 2013. Not ideal career planning for a premier NFL back.

"The running back position is the most physically demanding on the field," Forte told the Chicago Sun-Times. "Everyone acknowledges that. So to continue to give me the touches I've had since my rookie year but not award me a long-term contract sends the message that you're OK grinding me into a pulp."

Forte sounds like a man who has peeked behind the curtain at the game's underbelly.

"I learned that it really is a business and that they really don't care about your personal life or anything like that," Forte told ESPN Chicago. "It's the National Football League and these organizations are in a business. That's the bad part about it.

"I know I'm loyal to my teammates -- and my team are my guys -- but it doesn't seem like the organization is to me. But that doesn't keep me from going out on the field and putting my best out there."

Bears fans are saying, "Pay the man," but we have to wonder if the Bears' front office is semi-freaked by the grim scenario in Tennessee, where the Titans handed a massive contract to Chris Johnson, only to see him vanish off the map.

Different story here. Forte's the league's sixth-leading rusher and repeatedly has rescued the team in games this season. Apparently, that's not enough in Chicago.

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