Blog Entry

Matt Forte: Bears are 'grinding me to a pulp'

Posted on: November 2, 2011 9:48 am
Edited on: November 2, 2011 2:31 pm
Posted by Will Brinson

Bears running back Matt Forte might very well be the most underpaid player in professional football. Forte's averaging 96 rushing yards a game behind a Swiss (cheese) built offensive line, he's averaging 59.9 receiving yards a game, he leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 1,091 and he accounts for over 40 percent of Chicago's offensive yardage produced.

Yet the Bears refuse to pay him. Or even talk about paying him. And may just end up using their franchise tag on him. All of which is starting to grind Forte's gears.

"The running back position is the most physically demanding on the field," Forte said Tuesday, per the Chicago Sun-Times. "Everyone acknowledges that. So to continue to give me the touches I’ve had since my rookie year but not award me a long-term contract sends the message that you’re OK grinding me into a pulp."

Look, the Bears and Forte are in a weird situation. He's blowing up this season and he probably deserves to get paid. And the Bears desperately need him on their roster.

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But if you're Chicago, and you're watching what happened with Chris Johnson and the Titans this season, how can you reasonably carve out a chunk of your payroll to give Forte a big-time deal when you don't have to? Especially since the franchise tag will be available after this season, even if it's something that won't make Forte too happy.

"If they think by just slapping the franchise tag on me that’s going to silence anything, they’re sadly mistaken," he said. "That’s not going to cure everything. It’s not a solution, I would say."

Reading between the lines, it's not implausible to think Forte might consider holding out if the Bears apply the franchise tag to him. It's reasonable for him to be upset, because he'll turn 27 in December and 28 the December after that, which means he wouldn't see his first non-rookie guaranteed contract until he was 29, should the Bears only franchise him once.

It's a legitimate quandary and although Forte's incredibly valuable to Chicago -- and the primary reason they've had any offensive success whatsoever -- his value takes a serious hit if the running back's contract takes up a substantially bigger portion of Chicago's payroll.

And if he's ground to a pulp, well, he doesn't do them much good at all.

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Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: November 2, 2011 3:23 pm

Matt Forte: Bears are 'grinding me to a pulp'

Last year and over the last 3 years, he has averaged a tad over 65 yards per game rushing. 

Since: Feb 2, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 3:15 pm

Matt Forte: Bears are 'grinding me to a pulp'

Dallashero did you just seriously say Jamaal Charles got paid and didn't perform?! He isn't "performing" because he blew out his knee in the 2nd game. He is the poster child for someone who should go after money right away. If he had that knee injury before he got his big contract he wouldn't see nearly as much money even though he had already put up big numbers.

Since: Mar 10, 2010
Posted on: November 2, 2011 3:10 pm

Matt Forte: Bears are 'grinding me to a pulp'

You give these RB a huge deal and they dont play hard . see CJ2K and Deangleo Williams over $100 million dollars next 5 years for a running back that the players below them on the depth chart are out performing them its sad because RB is a tough position to get paid when there are so many and almost easy to replace via draft. Forte will get paid with the frnachise tag like a #1 back and then someone will give him a 3 year deal but thats what we call an occupational hazard . some advice  tell your kids to be baseball players make them a lefty reliever you will have a job for 20 years and make millions for 1 out per game . 

Since: Oct 27, 2006
Posted on: November 2, 2011 3:09 pm

Matt Forte: Bears are 'grinding me to a pulp'

Boz, you're misinformed, but don't feel bad because so are most people who posts comments like yours.  Forte's contract is a rookie deal worth what rookies typically make when drafted in the 2nd round.  The problem is Forte has played at a level of a Top 10 player - in the league!  While the team is not "OBLIGATED" to give Forte a raise for outperforming his expectations, it sends a pretty clear message to the player how much he is appreciated if they don't.  Most teams in this situation reward their players for outperforming their contracts, because it's the right thing to do.  I know if I took a job and outperformed my peers consistently year in and year out, I would expect to re-negoatiate my comp with my employer.  And if he said some shit like, "Well you accepted the job 4 years ago at that price..." I would probably slap the hell out of him.  A Top 10 producer in any industry will expect to get paid like a Top 10 producer.  Or they find a new employer.  There are some bad deals out there ($50M rookie deals, but not so much now with the new CBA), but Forte has earned some sort of a raise.  Just not sure how much he wants.  Everyone's compensation should have some sort of reflection of their level of production and value. 

Since: Apr 19, 2008
Posted on: November 2, 2011 3:08 pm

Matt Forte: Bears are 'grinding me to a pulp'

Maybe he should have addressed this issue during with the union during the lockout.  I feel for the guy.. but what if he is paid and doesn't perform (see Chris Johnson and  Jamaal Charles).  Maybe running back should be sign performance contracts.  Pay then based on their accomplishments not on what they have the potential to do.   

Since: May 30, 2008
Posted on: November 2, 2011 2:56 pm

Matt Forte: Bears are 'grinding me to a pulp'

Hey "the boz rules"....are you stupid?  Forte IS honoring his contract.  Forte IS NOT holding out.  This IS the final year of his contract that he has honored to the fullest.  Forte has participated in every practice and game this year and has NOT let any of this contract talk effect his on field play.  So before you start making STUPID accusations why dont you find out more about the guy you are talking about.  Forte wants to stay a Bear and wants a new contract which anyone can negotiate if they want at any time.  The most important item here is that Forte is playing and honoring his previous contract.  YOU SIR ARE A MORON!

Since: Nov 2, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 2:49 pm

Matt Forte: Bears are 'grinding me to a pulp'

He's playing, he is honoring his contract, he just wants a long term deal. He's scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent next year, but MAY holdout if the Bears apply a franchise tag. At this point, it's the media that is speculating that he would hold out, I could be wrong, but I don't think he's ever mentioned it. It's not about renegotiating a contract, it's about getting it extended, and he has certainly earned it.

Since: Sep 11, 2008
Posted on: November 2, 2011 2:47 pm

Matt Forte: Bears are 'grinding me to a pulp'

Regardless of whose side your on, Angello will F*** it up.  The thing to remember is everytime he touches the ball now, the price is going to go up.  If the Bears would have inked this deal 6 weeks ago, they would end up saving millions.  Something to think about.  But good ole Jerry will squeeze every drop of juice out of that grape he can.

Since: Mar 24, 2008
Posted on: November 2, 2011 2:46 pm

Matt Forte: Bears are 'grinding me to a pulp'

I am so sick of people leaving commentary against these guys trying to get paid the most can during what will be a short lived career.  Forte should do what he must do to make the most money possible.  Every single person on this board would do the same, so I am at lost at the criticism.

Since: Feb 2, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 2:44 pm

Matt Forte: Bears are 'grinding me to a pulp'

Hey the Boz, are the owners honoring the contract when they cut a player and no longer have to pay him? Say Forte goes down with a knee injury in practice today. He's entittled to pretty much nothing based on his current contract. Rookie contracts are mostly non-negotiable, they fit into a slotting system based on the draft. I think thats how it should be as unproven rookies shouldn't be getting 50 million guaranteed like Bradford. On the flipside once a player has proven to be star and outperformed his contract (ie Forte) a team should step up and re-negotiate. They don't have to go crazy but some guaranteed money and at or near market value is fair.

Every one keeps pointing Chris Johnson and yes it looks ugly but Frank Gore was riskier back (contractwise) who was rewarded with a new contract (albeit smaller than CJ2K's) and its working out  pretty damn well for the 49ers.

No one is staying running backs aren't a dime a dozen but Forte is clearly out performed is 600K rookie contract. If you don't admit that then you are fool.

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