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: Oct 24, 2006
Posted on: November 2, 2011 11:01 am

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

If I'm Forte I PRIVATELY speak with the Bears front office and tell them this: If you want to franchise me thats fine but if you choose to do so, I will not entertain any further contract extension offers from your organization.  When I reach free agency I will do my best to sign with a division-rival, even if that means taking a slight paycut and I WILL be back to kick your butt twice a year.  See how they respond to that..

Since: Sep 10, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2011 10:54 am

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

yes he is!!!!

Since: Sep 2, 2008
Posted on: November 2, 2011 10:50 am

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

You are right ... Forte is better

Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: November 2, 2011 10:17 am

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

Forte is no Ray Rice.
That's for sure.

Ray Rice does not lead the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 1,091 and account for over 40 percent of the Ravens offensive yardage produced.

Wow the ignorance never ceases to amaze me.

Stay in school and don't do dope!

Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: November 2, 2011 10:11 am

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

Matt Forte is a very good running back, but really needs to shut up. The Bears offered him a lucrative long-term deal and he and his agent turned them down. Now he wants to cry about the system and the possibility that because he didn't sign the contract that was offered to him - which was a reasonable offer - he may get tagged. Well, the NFLPA had their shot at reworking their deal with the NFL owners and they failed to elicit any significant changes to the contracting system that has been collectively bargained and agreed to. Forte should have signed the long-term deal he was offered. Frankly, the Bears have played their hand a lot smarter than Forte's agent has. So, Matt Forte, just shut up and run the ball.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: November 2, 2011 10:07 am

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

Forte most underpaid? Ray Rice gets 800k this year.  Forte is no Ray Rice.

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