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Although running back Matt Forte has gained at least 1,400 total yards in each of his four seasons with the team, the Chicago Bears have seemed to be in no rush to lock up the 26 year-old long term, instead choosing to slap Forte with the franchise tag for this season.
This didn't sit too well with Forte, and given his unhappiness over his contract situation and the fact that the Bears signed free agent running back Michael Bush in the offseason, it appears that both sides may be dug in for an extended impasse.
It now appears that some of the reasoning behind the Bears' reservations may have come to light. The Chicago Tribune's David Haugh reported earlier this week that Chicago may have concerns about the long-term viability of Forte's knees, which ended his season after 12 games a season ago.
A major sticking point could stem from the Bears' worry over how long Forte's knees will hold up, a source suggested to the Tribune. The wear and tear on Forte's knees drew the attention of several teams, including the Bears, before the 2008 NFL draft when he came out of Tulane.
According to the source, given Forte's past the Bears cannot rule out arthritis setting in and becoming a chronic problem for the fifth-year running back with 1,237 career NFL touches who turns 27 in December.
It didn't take long for Forte to fire back via Twitter, and not surprisingly he insists his knees are fine.
100Lbs sled up hill i think my knee will be ok RT @nfl: Bears concerned with Matt Forte's knees: nfl.com/news/story/090… twitvid.com/OPVBZ
— Matt Forte (@MattForte22) May 27, 2012