Coming off the most productive game of his career, Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte admitted Monday his contract situation with the team has been a distraction, and the two sides are way off in their talks.
Forte is signed through this season and hoped to have an extension worked out before Week 1. After failing to reach an agreement, Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said on Sept. 5 that the two sides agreed to table the talks until the end of the season.
"Currently we haven't really been talking," Forte said. "After some of the games my agent has called them a few times but no progress has really been made since then. But hopefully today or this week they will be talking again."
Forte said his camp and the Bears were "pretty far off" the last time they talked.
"It was pretty easy to me looking at the comparisons of production-wise around the league," said Forte, who leads NFL running backs in total yards per game (158.5). "And like I've said in many interviews before, this league is based on production, and my production is up there with the top running backs, elite level. I just really don't think they think that I'm at that level (or) that I'm that type of player. Our numbers were way off on that point."
A week after finishing with two yards on nine carries, Forte rushed for a career-high 205 yards in a 34-29 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Since entering the NFL in 2008 as a second-rounder out of Tulane, Forte ranks fifth in the NFL in yards from scrimmage (4,731) behind Tennessee's Chris Johnson, Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew and St. Louis' Steven Jackson
A Bears source told ESPNChicago.com's Michael Wright in September that the team had offered Forte a deal worth $13-14 million guaranteed.
Asked if a prolonged negotiation could sour his feeling toward the Bears, Forte said: "I don't want to be the guy that holds grudges but it always sticks in the back of your mind, things like that. It's the ugly side of the business. The NFL is a business, and that's the ugly side of it. I just want to be somewhere I'm valued as a player."