Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 11/20/14

MINNEAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 29: Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears carries the ball in the second half against the Minnesota Vikings on November 29, 2009 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Bears 36-10. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
To the surprise of no one, the Bears on Friday night placed a franchise tag on running back Matt Forte which will pay him approximately $7.7 million next season. The Bears , who had until Monday afternoon to use the tag, say they will continue to talk with Forte's agent, Adisa Bakari. on the long-term deal Forte wants. Next season's salary will still provide a nice raise from the $550,000 Forte made last season in the final year of his rookie contract. Last season, the 2008 second-round draft pick turned down a reported $13 million to $14 million in guaranteed money on a multi-year deal. It's unlikely that the Bears will go much higher, even though Forte led the NFL on yards from scrimmage at the time he suffered a season-ending sprained knee in Game 12 last season. "Matt is an important part of our football team, and we chose to utilize the franchise tag to ensure he remains a Bear," general manager Phil Emery told the Bears website Friday night. "We believe in Matt as a player...
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