Matt Forte's agent, Bears talk

Updated: August 2, 2011, 1:03 AM ET
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com

BOURBONNAIS, Il. -- The Chicago Bears and the representative for running back Matt Forte were engaging in face-to-face talks toward a new contract on Monday.

Forte, set to earn a base salary of $500,000 in the final year of his rookie deal, is looking for a contract extension after racking up 1,616 all-purpose yards last regular season.

"My agent is here and they're talking, so that's a good step forward," Forte said of Adisa Bakari.

Bears general manager Jerry Angelo told reporters over the weekend that his "intent" is to get a deal done with Forte. However, Angelo hinted that the deal might not be a simple one because Forte is not an unrestricted free agent.

"I told him now our intent is to do that (a contract extension)," Angelo said on Sunday. "That's a strong word. When I say intent, then we're motivated to do something. The timetable is yet to be determined. Just be patient. Take care of your job as you already have and continue to do and we're going to do our part.

"But again, it's a negotiation. You've got to find that common ground. That part of it will be a challenge. You're not talking about a UFA (unrestricted free agent), where there's an open market, you bid. These extensions are much tougher, because agents normally look at the UFA market to set their counts. But he's not a UFA. And that's the challenge."

Running back DeAngelo Williams helped set the free agent market this weekend by agreeing to $21 million in guarantees to re-sign with the Carolina Panthers.

Forte appeared to be unfazed by Angelo's comments.

"All negotiations are challenging," Forte said. "It may take time and all that good stuff, but the intent is to get it done. As long as it gets done, it doesn't matter how challenging it is."

Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

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