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Bears, Forte still talking long-term contract

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Dan Parr
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Posted March 16, 2012 @ 2:48 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

The Bears became one of a record 21 clubs to utilize the franchise tag this offseason when they applied it to RB Matt Forté, but the use of the tag did not end negotiations between the two sides on a long-term deal.

Forté would like to stay with the Bears, and head coach Lovie Smith said at the Combine in February that he thinks it's only a matter of time before the Bears sign him to a long-term deal.

PFW asked Bears GM Phil Emery if the ongoing talks have been productive.

"We continue to work with Matt and his agent in that effort," Emery said Friday at Halas Hall. "I'm not going to get into details, but we continue to work with each other to find common ground."

Forté will make about $7.74 million playing under the tag in 2012 if the two sides don't come to an agreement on a long-term deal by July 16. That date is the deadline for tagged players to sign multiyear contracts.

"We've talked and will continue to talk," Emery said. "Obviously we want Matt to be a Bear for the long term."

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