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Bears, Forte agree to deal

Matt Forte has averaged 1,058 rushing yards in his four seasons with the Bears.

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Matt Forte has averaged 1,058 rushing yards in his four seasons with the Bears.

CHICAGO — Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte and the Bears agreed to a four-year contract, settling the biggest issue hanging over the team.

The Bears confirmed the deal before Monday's deadline. Had the sides not agreed, Forte would have made $7.74 million this season under the franchise tag. Or he could have held out.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the deal is worth $32 million, more than $18 million of it guaranteed.

"I'm proud to be a Chicago Bear and excited to be here for another four years," Forte, 26, said in a statement. "…I'm glad the business part is done and we can all turn our attention to football and our goal of winning a championship."

Ravens re-sign Rice

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens and Ray Rice agreed on a new five-year contract worth roughly $40 million. Had Rice not signed, he would have played 2012 under the $7.7 million franchise tag tender. Instead, he will get $17 million this year and $8 million in 2013. As Baltimore's franchise player, Rice, 25, would not have been required to report at the start of training camp. The Ravens will hold their first full squad workout July 26.

Around the league

NO DEALS: Among those who did not reach long-term deals and will play 2012 under the franchise tender: Lions defensive end Cliff Avril ($10.6 million); Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes ($10.2 million); Patriots receiver Wes Welker and Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe (each $9.5 million) and Cowboys linebacker Anthony Spencer ($8.8 million).

RETIREES: The league and players' union agreed on funding of benefits to widows and other survivors of players from before 1993, an extended package worth $15.2 million.

BROWNS: Rookie wide receiver Josh Gordon signed a four-year, $5.3 million deal ($3.8 million guaranteed) after being picked in the second round of last week's supplemental draft. He was dismissed at Baylor when he tested positive for marijuana after his sophomore season.

COWBOYS: Receiver Dez Bryant was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor family violence Saturday in DeSoto, Texas, TV station KDFW reported. He posted bond and was released.

JAGUARS: Josh Scobee signed for at least $13.8 million over four years, making him one of the league's highest-paid kickers. The deal includes $4.75 million guaranteed and $400,000 worth of possible incentives.

Bears, Forte agree to deal 07/16/12 [Last modified: Monday, July 16, 2012 9:26pm]
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