- Jeff Dickerson, ESPN Staff Writer
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"I just want to make sure the fans understand that this is strictly a business thing right now," Manning told ESPNChicago.com. "I have no bad blood towards the Bears organization, and I know they have no bad blood towards me. But right now, we just have to get over this little disagreement we're having with the business aspect of football.
"But remember, this isn't a holdout. As we speak, I don't have a contract with the Bears since I haven't signed my tender."
Manning, a restricted free agent, was given a $1.176 million tender by the Bears. The former second-round pick has started at free safety, cornerback, nickel back, strong safety and returned kickoffs at a very successful clip.
Any team that signs Manning to an offer sheet would have to forfeit a third-round pick if the Bears declined to match the offer. The Bears have openly discussed the idea of Manning starting at strong safety in 2010, after the defensive back lost his starting spot at free safety toward the end of last season.
"Lovie Smith has called me, we've spoken about this, and he's let me know that he wants me to be a Bear," Manning said. "I've loved my time in Chicago, and I want to finish my career in a Bears uniform, and it's my sincere hope that happens.
"But I just didn't want to show up Monday with any bad vibes surrounding us. I feel confident in the end this will all work out."
Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com.
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