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.

Latest NFL News

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.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.

Since: Aug 22, 2008
Posted on: November 3, 2011 11:05 am

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

NFL teams are finding backs all over the draft and some guys are just coming in off the street. The 3 down feature back is a thing of the past. RB's better get their money early. Fred Jackson, Demarco Murry, Arian Foster, and Lagerette Blount are tearing up the NFL, and seemingly came out of nowhere. RB's get worn down quickly, why pay a guy long term when his body is not going to hold up and there are way more cost effective options.

Since: Oct 15, 2009
Posted on: November 3, 2011 10:59 am

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

Well thanks for your input and now you may leave the sporting world. Who cares? Obviously, not you. Now you may go take on the big government, oil companies and wall street. Sports is not your cup of tea so beat it!

Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: November 3, 2011 10:48 am

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

Hang in there Matt, you'll still get your payday.  We'd love to have you in Denver next year.

Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: November 3, 2011 10:34 am

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

Look.  We all know that ALL pro athletes in all sports are overpaid.  That being said, if you could get what the market would bear, wouldn't you want it?  While, personally, I believe no athlete should be paid $1 Million/year, I can't blame Forte for wanting Chicago to pay him on the scale that other elite RBs are paid.  The NFL teams have nobody to blame but themselves for allowing these salaries to escalate beyond what any normal person can even dream of.  If they are unwilling to put a stop to this, then pay the man.  In the interim, Forte would do well to shut up.  In this economy, the average fan simply doesn't want to hear about any athlete who makes $1 Million/year and whines!

Since: Jan 2, 2011
Posted on: November 3, 2011 10:34 am

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

They dont believe in paying a running back. Minnesota over paid Peterson. Reallity most back have a very short shelf life, he is nothing special...believe me. Let him go somewhere else and he won't be in football too much longer.  Sad but you guys took this cba and the tag is their are going owhere...You are not worth max money. He wants new paper and they dont want to give it to him...sad but true. They gave Cutler who sucks big $$, Urlacher who is over rated $$ but Briggs etc..get shit.

Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: November 3, 2011 10:29 am

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

Oh, he's ONLY making 938,000 dollars a year?  How do you survive on that?  That's the extreme maximum ANY athlete should make in sports.  There's millions of Americans struggling to put food their table and these clowns get paid millions and millions for what?  Playing a SPORT.  That's #1 what's wrong with society.  The Bears will grind him into a pulp either way.  Better to grinf 938,000 into a pulp than 10 million into a pulp.  That's just smart business.

Since: Dec 2, 2010
Posted on: November 3, 2011 10:11 am

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

You know, I am as anti-whiney, spoiled, over-paid athlete as anyboyd.  I hate the likes of TO, R. Moss, etc.  But if you look at what Forte is making, I really can't blame him for making a little noise.  He's making $938,00.  He's a very different back than C Johnson-- he's much stronger with better hands and much more durable.  He's easily a better pick to be your starting back.  If Chicago is smart they'll sign him to a long term deal.  Part of CJ's problems are b/c of the holdout and distractions it caused.  If Chicago needs to give him a 4 year deal and be done with it.  Its not about winning against your own player, its about winning on the field and Chicago stands a much better chance of doing that with Forte happy and focused.  BTW I'm not a Bears fan, just trying to be fair here.  Forte is not a big name like Peterson, Johnson, Foster, but he will be after this season, and he deserves to be paid like it. 

Since: Feb 26, 2010
Posted on: November 3, 2011 9:53 am

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

Thagmoney- I totally agree that a player or anyone in any profession should try to get as much as they can. I'm not even saying he's not worth the big contract he covets. My point is- stop publicly playing the "poor me" card because no one sympathizes with entitled millionaires complaining about not being paid enough. He may be underpaid relative to some of his peers, but it's bad form to complain publicly- do your job well and negotiate behind closed doors, that's all.       

Since: Jun 3, 2007
Posted on: November 3, 2011 9:49 am

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

Mick723.... THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!! I've been saying that entertainment bit for eternity now!!!! Glad to finally see someone who gets it. There are a lot of people on here that live their lives putting down athletes they'll never meet or get to find out how they are off the field. And it's ashame that many of these FANatics will never get it. After one retires, they'll find another player to complain about and the cycle will never end. When the FANatic dies, there will be another young FANatic take the place and so on. You and everyone else only have one life to live. Why spend it hating someone because they want to get paid as much as they can for their skill.

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: November 3, 2011 9:39 am

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

I'm getting grinded to a pulp at work too, the difference is I'm getting paid 15 bucks an hour and will probably have to work until I'm 75 years old! Poor guy- we all feel really bad for you! What ever happened to the athlete that actually wants the ball, wants to be involved in as many plays as possible, wants to put the team on his back? There's old school guys that refused to come out of the game and this pu$$y is complaining about being used too much! I realize it's all a game to try to get leverage for his contract demands, but when will these players learn that comments like this make you look REAL bad in the eyes of the average, everyday joe that works 50 hours a week for 40-50 years just to get by. 

yeah but the difference is right now forte is one of the best in his profession at what he does, in a business where billions of dollars gets divided amoung a small number of organizations... so honestly his market value is probably a bit higher than yours... you'd damn well hold out too knowing that you could get a 4 year 40-50 million dollar contract rather than stick with a far less paying contract, the same way you'd probably take a 20 dollar raise if you knew you could leverage that kind of salary

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or