Matt Forte and the Chicago Bears have agreed to a new four-year contract. (Jeff Haynes / Reuters )
Matt Forte had a career year for the Chicago Bears last season, and he was rewarded for that effort Monday with a lucrative new contract.
Forte and the Bears agreed to a four-year contract worth $32 million with more than $18 million guaranteed, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The two sides had until Monday to reach a deal before Forte would have had to play next season for $7.74 million as the team's franchise player.
Of course, he also could have held out, which is one of the reasons why the new contract is such a big deal. It solves the biggest issue hanging over the team and ensures that all the key players will be in place when training camp starts next week.
“I'm proud to be a Chicago Bear and excited to be here for another four years,” Forte said in a statement released by the Bears. “I'd like to thank my family, my agent and the Chicago Bears. I've been working hard this off-season and am looking forward to joining my teammates at training camp next week. I'm glad the business part is done and we can all turn our attention to football and our goal of winning a championship.”
Forte has spent all four years of his pro career with the Bears. He made the Pro Bowl for the first time last season, when he rushed for 997 yards and had 1,487 total yards from scrimmage even while missing the last four games after spraining the medial collateral ligament in his right knee early in a Dec. 4 game against Kansas City.
In doing so, he is the only player in NFL history with at least 900 yards rushing and 400 receiving in each of his first four seasons.
“We're very pleased that we were able to come to terms on a four-year extension with Matt,” General Manager Phil Emery said. “We're excited to get him on the field and continue working toward our goal of winning a championship.”
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