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: Apr 25, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 4:59 pm

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

I do see why they do not want to pay Forte a tremendous amount of money. Everyone that has been paid a huge amount of cash within the last couple of years, have ended up being busts. But with that said i personally think that NFL players should be paid so much more than any other professional sport. I know they only play 16 plus games but the average career lasts maybe 10 years tops because of the rigorous style in which they play. But i wish that not only the NFL but the MLB and NBA would pay players on how they preform. That would be great but would never happen.Ol CJOK would be broke lol. 

Since: Aug 11, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 4:57 pm

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

Forte is to Chicago what Manning is to Indy. Without him they have no chance of winning. Time to show him some respect , do what is right and pay him instead of playing "smart" - doesn't win you any loyalty in the trenches or with the fans,

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: November 2, 2011 4:45 pm

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

Forte is 25.... He will turn 26 this December. Get the facts straight.

Since: Sep 25, 2009
Posted on: November 2, 2011 4:39 pm

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

They need to get rid of the franchise tag, it doesn't make sense anymore to have it.  You can't hold out under the new CBA and there is a rookie wage scale with a 5 year contract length.  That is more than enough time for a team to figure out if they want a player long term or not.

Maybe they should get rid of multi-year contracts and just have single year contracts for every player in the league.  That way teams will never be locked in long term to bad contracts in the first place.  Players would get paid on performance for last year.

Since: Jul 13, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2011 4:37 pm

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

Very good post MikeD.  People always say that he should just play out the contract he signed.  But it is not really a contract in the truest sense since he can be cut at any time nullifying the contract without any reprocussions.  So why can I nullify the contract, so to speak, and reqork the deal if I am CLEARLY outperforming the original contract.  I agree that Chi does need some WR badly though, so maybe rework his deal but dont mortgage the farm on him.

Since: Mar 27, 2008
Posted on: November 2, 2011 4:25 pm

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

LOL. Anyone who does not realize Forte's greatness is dumb. You trade him your team goes to shit. The correct answer is "pay him now". He is the real deal and will be for a while.

Since: Nov 30, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2011 4:25 pm

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

For certain teams it's been the status quo in the NFL for years to rework contracts, for others "no deal".  Chris Johnson may be the poster boy for a bad deal now because he's having an off year.  But look at AP in Minnesota, new re-worked deal and playing as hard as ever behind another "swiss-cheese" line.

I know and understand that Forte would like to get paid now, but he did sign a deal and at the end of the day he'll get paid.

Since: Dec 19, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2011 4:09 pm

BEARS better TRADE this malcontent ASAP

Trade him quick before he gets lazy.

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2011 4:07 pm

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

Blame it on Chris Johnson.  I would be hesitant about paying out big bucks to a running back right now too after the way CJ has burned the Titans.

Since: Dec 19, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2011 4:07 pm

The Bears should just trade him at this point

I'm sure that they could use some better wide receivers and offensive linemen.

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