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Report: Bears offer Forte $15 million guaranteed

Posted on: September 1, 2011 9:06 am
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Bears running back Matt Forte made it clear even before the lockout ended that he wanted a new contract, one that paid him in line with the other top backs in the league. is reporting that the Bears have made Forte an offer that includes $15 million in guarantees.

The length or total dollar amount of the deal wasn't mentioned but either way, team general manager Jerry Angelo doesn't plan to let negotiations drag on into the regular season.

Appearing on the "The Waddle and Silvy Show" in Chicago, he said "It's got to happen sooner (rather than later). I don't like to necessarily go into training camp and negotiate with players. We like to do that in the offseason. Unfortunately we didn't have the ability to do that, but again we want to do the right thing by Matt so we are talking. We're hopeful, but at some point we have to draw a line in the sand and just now focus on the season."

A former second-round pick, Forte enters his fourth year in the NFL. He rushed for 1,238 yards (3.9 YPC, 8 TDs) as a rookie, saw his production fall in 2009 to 929 yards (3.6 YPC, 4 TDs), before returning to form last season with 1,069 yards (4.5 YPC, 6 TDs). He's also averaged close to 500 yards receiving each season.

Despite the offer, there's no guarantee a deal will get done before the regular-season opener on September 11. The negotiations have been ongoing since late July, and the two sides weren't close as recently as three weeks ago.

NFL sources told's Michael Wright that the Bears initially used the six-year contract worth $32 million ($10 million guaranteed) signed by Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles as the base line for a potential Forte deal. Wright adds: "Considering Forte has rushed for more yards and scored more touchdowns than Charles, it makes sense the Bears would extend a more lucrative offer than the one signed by the Chiefs running back."

Not necessarily. The fine folks at, who break down every play of the NFL season to create their total value and value-per-play metrics, ranked Charles as the best back in the NFL last season. Forte was 20th in both measures. As a pass-catcher, Charles was seventh in total value and eighth in value per play; Forte was 12th and 22nd.

This isn't to say that Forte isn't a good NFL back, or that he doesn't fit what Mike Martz wants to do in Chicago. And if the organization wants to use Charles' contract as a starting point, more power to them. It's just that, based on recent productivity, they might be overpaying him.

Then again, it's all relative. It's not like Forte is asking to be the highest-paid player in the league. He just wants a contract that compensates him somewhere in the neighborhood of what he's worth. It's hard to fault him for that.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 6:24 pm

Report: Bears offer Forte $15 million guaranteed

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 26, 2011 7:28 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 23, 2011 10:03 pm
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Since: Aug 9, 2009
Posted on: September 2, 2011 11:58 am

Report: Bears offer Forte $15 million guaranteed

Well thank u for elaborating on exactly what i said ! O, and for grammer lesson. Some how u managed to agree with exactly what i was saying with out sounding like it. And i wrote mine before johnson had gotten his contract. And my whole point was for Johnson to stop acting like a child and go to camp and do it the right way. But apperantly u didn't get it. Again, thanks for the grammer lesson though, I will be sure to proof read next time...

Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: September 1, 2011 11:50 pm

Report: Bears offer Forte $15 million guaranteed

Forte is rock solid.  While it sounds ridiculous to say this, but when talking about pro athletes, we often have to, but I think Forte showed his true value by showing up everyday for practice and not holding out.  I think that means something.  Yes, it is silly when compared to the rest of us, but that's the reality.  It doesn't mean he should be paid as a top 5 running back, but he is certainly in the top 8.  And he fits so well with what the Bears do.  He doesn't have the raw, natural talent that Peterson in MN and Johnson in TN do, but he does a lot of things very well.  There are no real weaknesses.  Catches balls, runs good routes.  He doesn't get hurt.  He doesn't fumble.  He blocks well.  And he plays almost every down.  Having a combined 1400 yards a year is pretty impressive.  How many backs in the league today can say that for a 3 year average?  Four or Five.  While people might knock his TD production, how much of that is his fault, and how much of that is playing behind a terrible O-line?  Forte is one of the few guys who I hope gets as much as he can.  He works hard and gives the Bears a chance. 

Since: Jan 31, 2011
Posted on: September 1, 2011 8:06 pm

Report: Bears offer Forte $15 million guaranteed

since when is arian foster elite?

Since: Jan 19, 2007
Posted on: September 1, 2011 4:30 pm

Report: Bears offer Forte $15 million guaranteed

Bearish1 is right. Forte is not an elite RB. 18 TDs in 3 seasons is not elite. Averaging about 1,000 yards per season rushing is not elite. Yes, he adds a lot to the team with his receiving yards, but he is not a guy who will take over games like the elite ones. Most teams would love to have this all-purpose player, but that does not make him elite like AP or CJ or AF or a few others. But he got paid. He should be very happy. Let's hope he doesn't lose the drive now that he is financially set.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: September 1, 2011 3:53 pm

NFL running backs are in collusion!!!

If one guy asks for more money and a new contract another running back will do the same. This is not right. Frank Gore, Chris Johnson, Matt Forte Peyton Hollis, Arian Foster,etc. The NFL might as well give new contracts to the starting RB's in the league. Who says collusion is a bad thing in sports?

Since: May 19, 2007
Posted on: September 1, 2011 2:05 pm

Report: Bears offer Forte $15 million guaranteed

Jeez, airforce1, that's a whole bunch of stupid in one post. Wow. First, it's "I couldn't care less". "I could care less" means that you do.
Second, players usually get paid when they're due a pay raise. There are those acting like children, like Johnson, and those like Forte, who ask for a reasonable, new contract, support it with legitimate reasons, and show up to camp, play every preseason snap asked of him, etc... You know, guys who do it the right way. And then there's those like Johnson that don't get paid paid until they start acting like... I mean, guys who get paid $30 million guaranteed because they haven't shown up, and have been whining all offseason. You stay classy and intelligent, airforce1.

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: September 1, 2011 11:51 am

Report: Bears offer Forte $15 million guaranteed

That's a typo, right?  Shouldn't that actually be "Bears offer Forte $25 million guarateed"...?  That would be a legitimate offer then.

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