Bears Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte didn't reveal much during an interview with ESPN Friday.
But, he told ESPN's Adam Schefter that he was "optimistic" that a long-term deal could be reached before Monday's deadline.
"I'm a very optimistic guy," Forte told Schefter. "So going into this weekend, I'm very optimistic that it'll get done and say my prayers and everything."
Asked how challenging his contract status has been, Forte said, "It gets irritating because it's all I've been hearing about.
"Just look forward and be optimistic about getting this deal done. Hopefully, both sides can come to a middle ground."
There was one awkward moment. Schefter asked Forte what would happen if there was no deal by Monday.
"I think we all know," Forte said.
Schefter asked again, and Forte just shook his head.
Schefter asked if Forte wouldn't show up to training camp, and Forte again declined to answer.
If a deal isn't consummated by Monday, Forte will have to play the 2012 season for the franchise tender of $7.7 million. That's certainly not chump change, but Forte obviously would prefer a long-term deal that would guarantee him more than double that amount.