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Amid Uncertain Bears Future, Matt Forte Won't Enter Holdout

By Chris Emma--

(CBS) Bears running back Matt Forte maintained that he won't hold out and that he plans to attend the Bears' next OTA, that after missing a voluntary minicamp and the presentation of the prestigious Piccolo Award at Halas Hall earlier this week.

Speaking to the Boers and Bernstein Show and making his first comments since missing minicamp, Forte admitted he and new Bears general manager Ryan Pace had discussed a contract extension, though those conversations appear to be dead. While the 29-year-old Forte desires a contract extension, he also plans to play the final year of his deal with Chicago and avoid a holdout if discussions don't re-engage.

"I'm not the type of dude to do that at this point, because I don't really have that leverage," Forte said. "The Bears have that leverage. If they want to give me a contract extension and have me retire as a Chicago Bear and play my entire career here, they can do that. It's as simple as that. I'm not going to hold out and stuff like that."

Forte also made clear that he missed the voluntary minicamp due to a scheduling issue. He had planned a training trip in Florida before the team minicamp schedule was unveiled. His absence wasn't a statement made against the Bears in contract negotiations, he said.

Even in the final year of his deal in Chicago and with an uncertain future ahead, Forte said he wouldn't play out the season disgruntled.

"When it comes to this point, I'm playing on a one-year deal, where I don't know where I'm going to be playing next year," Forte said.

"I'm not going to be all mad and angry. I'm happy. I have a family that's from here and I live here. I'll gladly play the last year of my deal at $8 million and then have to go somewhere else. It's not my choice, but that's the reality of it. It might happen."

Forte rushed for 1,038 yards and six touchdowns while adding a 102 catches, a single-season record for a running back. In his seven years with the Bears, Forte has rushed for 7,704 yards and 41 touchdowns.

Should talks of a contract extension restart with the Bears, Forte would be understanding in those negotiations.

"My leverage is my stats, my play," said Forte. "It speaks for me."

The Bears' next OTA is scheduled for May 27, and Forte plans on being in attendance.

Listen to Forte's full interview below.

Matt Forte on the Boers and Bernstein Show

Follow Chris on Twitter @CEmma670.

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