Blog Entry

Bears use franchise tag on RB Matt Forte

Posted on: March 2, 2012 9:12 pm
 
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By Ryan Wilson

Other than the Browns' decision to franchise 37-year-old kicker Phil Dawson, there weren't any real surprises Friday. That didn't change when the Bears tagged running back Matt Forte, who's now in line to make $7.7 million in 2012 under the designation.

The Bears' former second-round pick missed the final month of the season with a knee injury, but the organization had no plans to let him hit free agency. In February, team president Ted Phillips said, "We'd like to (work out a long-term deal). But as (new GM) Phil (Emery) pointed out we obviously will at least consider placing the franchise tag on him. We don't have any intention of letting Matt hit the open market. We'll sit down with him privately, Phil will, and discuss what the plans are prior to the Feb. 20 franchise tag date."

And that's exactly what happened.

Forte's response to Phillips' comments above? "It depends on the motive of (the franchise tag). If they are doing the franchise tag just to get more time in order to negotiate a long-term deal, then I would be OK with it. But if it's just to hold me another year and just, 'Let's throw some money at him right now to keep him quiet,' that's not going to solve anything."

So what happens now? Players can sign their tenders at any point between March 13 and July 16, the deadline for reaching a multi-year extension.

"Matt is an important part of our football team and we chose to utilize the franchise tag to ensure he remains a Bear," general manager Phil Emery said. "We believe in Matt as a player and a person. Our intention is to continue to work to find common ground and keep Matt as a member of the Chicago Bears in 2012 and beyond."

Despite the late-season injury, Forte became the first Bears running back to be named to a Pro Bowl since Neal Anderson in 1991. In four seasons, Forte has rushed for 4,233 yards on 1,014 carries (4.2 YPC) and scored 21 touchdowns. He's a important cog in Chicago's offense because of his versatility as a runner and a pass-catcher.

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Comments

Since: Feb 24, 2012
Posted on: March 4, 2012 6:06 am
 

Bears use franchise tag on RB Matt Forte

"I never once said that Jay Cutler has "nothing" to do with how the offense performs.  When I said that Forte IS the Bears offense it's because in my opinion he's much more important to the Bears then most quarterbacks are to their teams, and that includes Cutler."

Pure and utter nonsense.

The Bears season ended because Cutler got injured, not because Forte got injured. Barber and Bell came in and BOTH posted hundred yard games, there was no one able to replicate the miracle work Cutler was doing behind THE worst o-line in football and a horrible set of receivers.

If it came down to having with Cutler or Forte on the team, most logical Bears fans would take Cutler 100 times out of 100. He is CRITICAL to the team.




Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: March 4, 2012 1:57 am
 

Bears use franchise tag on RB Matt Forte

like all athletes wants to be paid NOW and BIG! and why not? how long will he be around? one wrong hit and its lights out..EXACTLY why Bears should franchise him.  The athletes want to get paid for last yr  meanwhile this yr he gets hurt or plain stinks and you dont hear media saying Jeez he should get a pay cut! 

In theory yeah, you're right.  Running backs and players playing many other positions could be out with one hit, so 1 year deals with no commitment is the way to go..... it makes sense in theory... BUT in reality it doesn't make one bit of sense.

Because if you don't think other NFL players take notes you're nuts.  I hate unions, but a lot of players aren't in a hurry to sign a contract with a team that doesn't take care of its best players long term.  You think if the money is close somewhere else a star or good free agent won't think twice signing with a team that chooses not to pay a guy like Forte?

In my mind there is no way that doesn't hurt the Bears reputation around the league.  They don't have to pay EVERYBODY top dollar long term, actually they can't, there is a salary cap.  But guys like Forte and Cutler need to be taken care of.  It's just not good business to do this to Forte.  



Since: Jan 19, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2012 3:42 pm
 

Bears use franchise tag on RB Matt Forte

this message post ceeds the prior. forte is a tremendous back he can do it all with less than superior athleticism.  reminds me of my favorite back chuck foreman.  nOt the fastess not the strongess but found a way. forte. like all athletes wants to be paid NOW and BIG! and why not? how long will he be around? one wrong hit and its lights out..EXACTLY why Bears should franchise him.  The athletes want to get paid for last yr  meanwhile this yr he gets hurt or plain stinks and you dont hear media saying Jeez he should get a pay cut! 



Since: Jan 19, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2012 3:38 pm
 

Bears use franchise tag on RB Matt Forte

redwings your wrong but not by much.  A QB is much more important to the team and to the offense than a RB. Yes dilfer, but RBs are overated look at the 80s 49ers who the hell did they have Craig? bill "super bowl" ring wendell tyler? no names to lose sleep over.  AND they get hurt quick AND when they are they cant play if a QB's non throwin arm knee hip ribs etc are hurtin he CAN PLAY VERY EFFECTIVELY.  A QB can bring many more problems  by nature than a rb.  he can thro he can run (even dilfer!) forte will follow on next message 



Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2012 12:39 pm
 

Bears use franchise tag on RB Matt Forte

Redwings1969 you basically just named ALL the exceptions to the rule...we all know there are always exceptions. Both Mannings, Brees, Brady, Young, Bradshaw, Roethlisberger, Warner, Elway, Favre, Aikman, Montana, Staubach, Plunkett, Griese, Namath, Starr ( I know there are a couple I am forgetting) are far mor indicative of the norm.

Dude - Forte is important to the offense but a franchise QB is THE single most important part of any football team. Cutler may not be one of the top 5 but he's very good. It is VERY hard to win a Super Bowl without a guy like that - one who puts up some gaudy stats. In fact of all the teams you allude to and even my beloved 85 Bears - most were succesful because of DEFENSE and simply an adequate offense.

By the way - how did your Lions teams do with one of the greatest running backs of all time???



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2012 11:55 am
 

Bears use franchise tag on RB Matt Forte

Yes, Jay Cutler clearly has nothing to do with how the offense performs.  Quarterback is such an overrated position in professional football.  They might as well trade him to move up in the draft to take Trent Richardson. 

I never once said that Jay Cutler has "nothing" to do with how the offense performs.  When I said that Forte IS the Bears offense it's because in my opinion he's much more important to the Bears then most quarterbacks are to their teams, and that includes Cutler.

The Bears got to the superbowl with Grossman as their qb.  Trent Dilfer won a superbowl.  Mark Sanchez won 4 playoff road games in 2 years.  Joe Flacco has won a lot of games.  Alex Smith just won 13 games.  I could go on and on but I think you get my point.  The quarterbacks I just mentioned are not great quarterbacks by any stretch of the imagination.  Dilfer was nothing.  Sanchez is lucky to be in the league and on his way out. Flacco is good and the best of this bunch but not great.  Alex Smith is lucky he's in the league, wouldn't be if not for how pathetic SF's qb situation has been, yet these teams won a lot of games, some got to the superbowl.

Why? Their running backs played a big part in their success....

The Bears could replace Cutler with a decent qb not named Hanie and still succeed.  But if Forte leaves they'll be affected much more.. 



Since: Oct 29, 2010
Posted on: March 3, 2012 11:17 am
 

Bears use franchise tag on RB Matt Forte

Simple math in Minnesota: Taxpayers pay $1,925,000 per home game the Vikes play, asn that's if the league actually exoands to an 18 game season for 9 home games per year for 30 years along with an assumption that they make the playoffs 1/3 of the years with 2 home playoffs per appearance (not likely). If we stick to0day's formula as the league exists, then taxpayers are on the hook for $2,290,000 per home game for the next 30 years. Are they saying that each and every game generates somewhere over 20 million dollars in economic activity that can be taxed enough to cover that much taxpayer money up front????




 Simple minds work that way you must be one. First what does this have to do with Matt Forte. Second the Wilfs are paying 430 million dollars to rent the new stadium for no less then 300 games over thirty years maybe a few playoff games. The state of Minnesota owns the new building and will rent it out to other venues and they will do it over 300 times a year not counting the Vikings dates. The state makes money the city makes money and the player pay alot of taxes on game checks that come to play there. I know someone like you from californication wouldnt get that , the only thing califoricaters do is put your people farther in the hole with debt for what no one really knows what for.



Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2012 9:58 am
 

Bears use franchise tag on RB Matt Forte

Running backs are low on the NFL food chain.  With the money Forte has already made..and then getting seven million for one season that should set him up for life.  Then is he has another good season he will get another 7-8 million.  Sounds like a win..win..produce and get great pay!!



Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2012 9:19 am
 

Bears use franchise tag on RB Matt Forte

I agree playing for the Franchise tag is a good thing, moneywise, for a player.  They generally make as much money as they would with a long term contract that the team can terminate when they want, but the problem is if the player gets hurt badly during the season then he may not get big money the next season.

All Forte can do is take less money than he thinks he deserves or roll the dice again and make the Bears Franchise him again next year. The system sucks for someone like Forte, who had to take 2nd round pay even though he was playing at a way higher level, but its the system his union negoitiated.  If I was Forte I would wait until the training camp to sign the franchise tender and then like someone else said, sit everytime I felt even a little discomfort. I wouldn't give the Bears anything extra and I'm a Bears fan. The Bears should have 'overpaid' Forte a little because he has been so much of the offense, came into camp without holding out, and played hard all the time. Overpaying one of your best and most respected players is not a bad thing for an organization, especially when they had the money like the Bears did. 



Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2012 9:15 am
 

Bears use franchise tag on RB Matt Forte

Yes, but long-term contracts almot always include a signing bonus, which is for more money than one year of the contract. So it's more that a player is missing out on the signing bonus money than additional years of the deal.

Still, the Bears are doing exactly what they should be doing here, and really, so is Forte. It's all negotiation. Forte wil be a Bear and he will be signed to a multi-year deal, either this year or the next.  


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