Originally posted on Helmet2Helmet  |  Last updated 7/16/12

With just hours remaining until the franchise deadline, the Bears have finally locked up their Pro Bowl running back.

According to Chicago Sun-Times beat writer Sean Jensen, the Bears agreed to terms with Matt Forte on a four-year contract Monday.

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the deal will average about $8 million annually, a big step up from the one-year, $7.749 million tender he was expected to play under.

This is a much-deserved raise for Forte, one of the NFL's most productive players over the last four seasons. In that time, he's tallied more than 6,200 all-purpose yards and 29 touchdowns as Chicago's offensive staple.

Suffice it to say, the 26-year-old earned the financial stability after months of pining for a new pact.

Other notable franchise players -- including Ray Rice, Wes Welker, and Cliff Avril -- have until 4 p.m. ET to similarly strike a long-term deal.

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