Matt Forte, Bears table contract talks

Updated: September 6, 2011, 5:43 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Discussions between Matt Forte and the Chicago Bears about a new contract for the running back have been put on hold.

"We've spent a lot of time trying to work out an extension with Matt, and his agent did as much work as he could do. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to come to an agreement at this point, so we've decided that we're just going to focus on the season," Bears general manager Jerry Angelo told WBBM radio on Monday night. "That's something we talked about when we went into the negotiations.

"We were hopeful. Not saying the door is shut. But right now our focus is going to be on the season."

A Bears source had told ESPNChicago.com's Michael Wright that the team had offered Forte a deal worth $13-14 million guaranteed.

Both sides had hoped to wrap up a deal before the Bears' season opener against the Atlanta Falcons Sept. 11 at Soldier Field. Angelo said both sides agreed to table the talks.

"It was a mutual understanding," he said. "We visited a few times in our last meeting. We felt like with the season upon us, that right now we want to focus, Matt wants to focus on the season and having a great year that we all expect and know that we will."

Since entering the NFL in 2008 as a second-rounder out of Tulane, Forte ranks fifth in the NFL in yards from scrimmage (4,731) behind Tennessee's Chris Johnson, Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew and St. Louis' Steven Jackson.

Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.

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