(CBS) Matt Forte will likely hold out training camp if he and the Bears aren’t able to reach a long-term deal, but the Bears running back told 670 The Score’s Zach Zaidman Friday that he won’t miss any regular season games.
Speaking at the Madden 13 Pigskin Pro Am in Grant Park, Forte said talks with the Bears are ongoing, but he would not guarantee that he would report to training camp in Bourbonnais if a deal is not reached by the July 16 deadline.
“Me and my agent, Adisa Bakari, have been talking to the Bears,” Forte said. “Talks continue to go on. I’m really optimistic about that part, that we continue to talk.”
LISTEN: Matt Forte Talks To Zach Zaidman
Negotiations appeared to get personal in recent weeks and Forte didn’t exactly deny that Friday.
“You can’t let it get too personal,” he said. “I mean, it’s always personal when you are dealing with the business side of the league because they are talking about you as a person. When you are an athlete and you’ve done everything that you’ve been asked to do and you’ve excelled out there on the field, and then you go out in the media and you see there is stuff written about you how they are devaluing you as a player at your position and saying that you are not as good as what think you are or what the stats say — I mean, the stats can’t lie. If you have good stats and you are playing good, obviously you are a good player. So it gets personal when you are devalued like that.”
Even if Forte misses training camp, the running back has very little incentive to miss games and he made it clear that he will suit up when the regular season starts. He said fans shouldn’t be worried about him missing offseason training activities with the team.
“People are concerned about not being at OTAs and things like that. We missed last year during the lockout and I get really good training anyway,” he said.
Forte is said to be looking for a similar deal as the one Philadelphia Eagles’ running back LeSean McCoy received in May: five years, $45 million (over $20 million guaranteed).