Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 7/14/12
Bears fans may not have to worry about their running game for the 2012 season.

According to a report from NFL.com, the Bears and Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte may be close to a long-term contract.  
               
Forte has rushed for 4,233 yards over the last four seasons with the Bears, including a career high 1,238 yards in 2008. Last season Bears fans saw Forte rush for 997 yards on 4.9 yards per carry. He also gathered 490 receiving yards and four total touchdowns. 

Even though he missed four games last season, Forte is one of the most durable rushers in the game today.  From 2008-2010, Forte never missed a game and had 3,200 rushing yards and 25 total touchdowns. 
               
As early as this morning, fans were expecting Forte to be a holdout. The Bears were offering him a franchise tender of $7M this season, but Forte took that as an insult.  He implied in an interview with ESPN yesterday that he would possibly hold out of training camp if he did not receive the deal he wanted. 
              
Chicago would be wise to offer Forte a long-term deal. At age 26, Forte is entering the prime of his career.  Fans can honestly expect Forte to put up big numbers this season. The Bears have Jay Cutler and a revamped offensive line. 

1,300 yards and 8 touchdowns would not be out of reach for a man who is quickly becoming one of the best running backs in the NFL. 
                
Based on contracts given to other running backs, expect Forte to get a 5 -year deal worth $50M, with about $28M guaranteed.       

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