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Thursday, September 1, 2011
BBAO: Key number in Matt Forte talks

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

We're Black and Blue All Over:

On Wednesday, we discussed the Chicago Bears' negotiations with tailback Matt Forte in the context of other deals that have been reached around the NFL. Most recently, the San Francisco 49ers agreed on a three-year extension with tailback Frank Gore. The deal is worth $21 million and includes $13.5 million in guarantees.

How do the Bears value Forte, and how does he value himself? Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com gives us a glimpse by reporting the team has offered a deal that includes about $15 million guaranteed. Unknown at this point is how many years the Bears are offering; generally speaking, more years equals more guaranteed money.

The only urgency for either side to strike a deal at this point is that Forte's value could change once the regular season begins. An injury could lower his value, while some monster games could increase the commitment the Bears will need to make in order to secure him. I guess there is a concern about the distraction of negotiations during the regular season, but to me it's a positive to have a player motivated by as many factors as possible.

Continuing around the NFC North: