Is Bears RB Matt Forte an elite back?

John Mullin of reports Bears standout running back Matt Forte is stamping the 2011 campaign as a statement season, providing for more than half of the club’s combined offensive yards so far.  However, the Bears have not decided to grant him a contract extension yet.

“Obviously someone doesn’t believe I’m an elite running back,” Forte said.

Forte places just 17th in rushing after two games, with 117 yards and an average of 4.5 yards per pop but he is No. 2 in the NFL with 324 total yards, second only to Carolina’s Steve Smith’s 334 yards. And that reveals more than enough for the Tulane product.

“I’d like to get paid off of the production,” Forte said. “When you look at the production and what level that’s on and you look at some of the guys who are producing and what they get paid, it’s not that hard.”

“I play like I know how to play every weekend,” Forte said. “That’s all I can do.”

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