Matt Forte feels 'undervalued'

Updated: October 28, 2011, 8:54 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Matt Forte said it's up to the Chicago Bears to get his contract extension done, but if the team decides to apply the franchise tag on him it would be "the cheap way to go out."

After failing to reach an agreement during the preseason, Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said the sides agreed to table the talks until after the season. ESPNChicago.com previously reported the Bears' best offer to Forte maxed out at between $13 million to $14 million in guarantees.

The Bears could opt to wait on a long-term extension and apply the franchise tag on Forte which means he would be paid the average of the top five 2011 running back salaries for the 2012 season.

"That's not something I'm looking forward to," Forte said Friday on "Rome is Burning" on ESPN. "I don't want a one-year deal. I want a long-term extension. I think if they use the franchise tag that's kind of a cheap way to go out. That's not what I'm looking forward to. I want a long-term extension. I've been drafted by Chicago. I want to stay there so it's not something I'm looking forward to."

Forte has bolstered his case for an extension with a monster season. He leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage (1,091) and got to 1,000 yards from scrimmage in fewer games than anyone since 2004 (Tiki Barber and Priest Holmes also did it in seven games).

Forte is on pace for 2,494 yards which would be second all-time behind Chris Johnson's 2,509 in 2009.

"Everybody who is doing anything no matter what you're doing if you're working and doing an exceptional job you want your boss to kind of notice that and not a pat on the back but compensate you for what you're doing," Forte said. "That's in anything you're doing. It kind of makes you feel undervalued."

Angelo told reporters on Oct. 10 that there was no progress in talks with Forte's camp and that the organization is focusing on the season.

"We did what I consider our very best," Angelo said. "I know they tried as well. We weren't able to get it accomplished. He was our No. 1 goal, we spent a lot of time in the preseason trying to get it done. Right now, our focus is on the season.

"I've been through a few of these, and when you take these into the season, it's not good for anybody. I'm not saying we can't get it done, I'm not saying that, but right now our focus is on the season."

Forte makes $600,000 this season and is one injury away from losing a lot of money.

"There is the risk of injury but I just pray before every game that God keeps me healthy out on that field and I continue to do good work out there," Forte said. "It's really up to them to do the contract thing. Me and my agent, our door is always open."