Tag:Matt Forte Trade Rumors
Posted on: November 2, 2011 9:48 am
Edited on: November 2, 2011 2:31 pm
 

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

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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Posted on: October 18, 2011 9:44 am
 

Teams have 'internal discussions' on Forte trade?

Posted by Will Brinson

As everyone knows, Bears running back Matt Forte would like to get paid. And Chicago does not want to pay him. But according to a report Tuesday, there are other teams that would love to give the running back top dollar.

Two teams, in fact, according to the Chicago Tribune, have had "internal discussions" about trading for Forte. And Forte appreciates that.

"I'm glad teams are interested," Forte said. "For me to be out here working as hard as I do and not have a contract extension, you kind of get that feeling of being unappreciated. I just hope that when this year is over and I play as well as I've been playing, that if the Bears don't reward me with a contract, another team will.''

A couple of things here. One, "internal discussions" by other teams mean absolutely nothing. Hell, 20 minutes ago, my wife and I had internal discussions about trading our place for a $6 million house in the near future. (In other words, just because two other teams like Forte doesn't mean the Bears will ship him away -- he literally accounts for more than 50 percent of their offense.)

Two, the Bears still have the franchise tag available, so Forte shouldn't bank on getting paid just quite yet.

"It kind of doesn't make sense," Forte said of the franchise tag, per the Trib. "If they don't want to pay me that type of money, why would they use the franchise tag, which is basically paying me that ($8 million) in one year?"

Well, they would do that to avoid giving a running back a long-term deal and then seeing him struggle while making a pile of cash, which is precisely what happened to Chris Johnson and DeAngelo Williams so far in 2011.

And three, how many times is this guy gonna mention that he wants to get paid? He's got most of the media saying it -- me included -- for him and fans hanging signs at Bears home games. Everyone knows he wants more money -- repeating his desire once a week seems a bit redundant and not particularly team-oriented.

Speaking of Williams, Forte's believed to want less than the Panthers "franchise" back, and would take about $8 million a year. Given his production, that's a reasonable price for the running back, and if someone -- the Broncos are trading fools lately -- would give up a first- or second-rounder for Forte, a trade could always happen.

Just don't expect it to go down today.

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