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Blog Entry

Teams have 'internal discussions' on Forte trade?

Posted on: October 18, 2011 9:44 am
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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Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: October 18, 2011 4:20 pm

Teams have 'internal discussions' on Forte trade?

This is all about nothing.  Forte will get paid.  And he will get paid by the Bears.  He is one of thier franchise players and will be treated as such.  Any deal that would have gone down would have been an extension to this season anyway.  So hes not losing any money by playing out this deal.  If he makes his 1st pro bowl it will only increase his value.  Its a double edge sword. 

Since: Apr 27, 2008
Posted on: October 18, 2011 4:20 pm

Teams have 'internal discussions' on Forte trade?

To the holdouts in the NFL. If you didn't want to play for x amount of dollars for x amount of years, DON'T SIGN THE CONTRACT! Tell them I'll sign on for 2 years

The problem with this is that teams know this as well and they are the ones who usually push for the 4 and 5 year deals.  The player say I won't sign anything more than 2 years and the team says you'll sign for 4 or 5 or nothing usually the player will cave.  Its only the top few draft picks that have the luxury of dictating their terms.  Once you fall out of the top 15 or maybe 20 the players pretty much end up taking whatever the teams offer and the teams will offer what they think will work out best for them.  That means a long term deal with the hope that the player outplays his contract.  Face it, what do they have invested if a late second or third round pick threatens to hold out.  Its not like the #3 pick over all is threatening to sit.

Since: Sep 7, 2007
Posted on: October 18, 2011 4:16 pm

Teams have 'internal discussions' on Forte trade?

I like the Bears, but if they let this guy walk... I hope they are celler dwellers in the NFC North for the next 10 yrs.

Since: Apr 26, 2007
Posted on: October 18, 2011 4:05 pm

Teams have 'internal discussions' on Forte trade?

To the holdouts in the NFL, if you didn't want to play for x amount of dollars for x amount of years, DON'T SIGN THER CONTRACT!  Tell them I'll sign on for 2 years, and when I outplay it, you'll pay me the third year or I'll sign with someone else.
This is a great idea, if it were at all possible, but it isn't.  Most of the holdouts you are talking about are guys who have outplayed their rookie contracts.  Rookies get little wiggle room in negotiating their contract due to the CBA policies (both old and new).  Old had a 3 year contract with an option for a 4th year and the new one has a 4 year contract with an option for a 5th (for 1st rounders), straight 4 year contracts for later rounds and 3 year contracts for undrafted players, all of which are mandatory contract lengths.  Ultimately, they get stuck with a 4 year contract at the value of their pick, not necessarily the value of their talent or production.

So a guy like CJ overperforms his 500,000 salary and wants to be paid his NFL worth, he holds out.  It's not the best of solutions for anyone, but there isn't much recourse otherwise.  Of course he could play out the final year and demand more after the season, but he has to think of himself too.  Seeing that running backs aren't the exclusive commodity they once were, and a good offensive scheme can make up for talent in the running game, many teams aren't going to drop $10M on a back.  Add to that that a career injury could be right around the corner for anyone and a guy like CJ who gets 300+ touches a season is in more danger than most, he took care of himself.  Johnson had the Titans in a tight spot because they had no backup plan and depend on CJ to produce for wins, they had to pay him this year.  Not many backs can do that.

Holding out will be a part of the NFL for a long time, a number of players drafted in later rounds will always out perform their contracts and know their value is worth more than the league min they are getting paid.  Some teams make the right decisions and pay, others sit on the fence until the last minute and pay for it later. (See Titans).

Since: Feb 8, 2007
Posted on: October 18, 2011 3:50 pm

Teams have 'internal discussions' on Forte trade?

The difference between NFL and NBA/MLB is that the contracts are not guaranteed.  If the situation turns then they dump the player, you saw that this year. 

The Bears are historically cheap, Ditka once said about Halas, he throws nickles around like man-hole covers.  After the 85/6 super bowl year they dropped a few key players because they wanted to get paid. 

Rarely do I go w/an athlete, but Forte did not holdout, plays hard and is very productive..he deserves a competive contract.  The Bears are $19 million under the cap, an aggressive team would be using this money to free up money for the following years...not my Bears.

Since: Apr 7, 2009
Posted on: October 18, 2011 3:18 pm

Teams have 'internal discussions' on Forte trade?

they would be stupid to let Forte walk or trade him unless your trying to start over and rebuild....even so, he just turned 25!  pay him and build that offensive line up so Cutler won't get killed...then get some BIG receivers on the team!  how did Angelo get this job again?

Since: Feb 1, 2009
Posted on: October 18, 2011 2:23 pm

Teams have 'internal discussions' on Forte trade?

I think you make an excellent point in your post. Although I think Forte's situation is different than many. In most of the other leagues (especially baseball), teams get the use of young prospects before their contracts are up and they get shipped off for big pay days via the yankees, red sox, etc.

The owners draft "x" player in later rounds hoping that they will blow up. They get paid and sign contracts according to their draft order. In the case of many i.e. Chris Johnson and Darrell Revis, they outplayed the contracts. They now demand more money, or they won't come into camp. It's almost like tragic when a player does so much better than expected, because it's an inevitable holdout.

Derrick Rose makes sometihng like $1.2M a year, and not only was he the #1 overall draft pick, but he was the MVP of the league last year.

Forte's situation is different though. He is disgruntled, and his contract is about to end. So assuming the Bears don't franchise him, he'll get paid his due next year from some team.

To the holdouts in the NFL. If you didn't want to play for x amount of dollars for x amount of years, DON'T SIGN THE CONTRACT! Tell them I'll sign on for 2 years, and when I outplay it, you'll pay me the third year or I'll sign with someone else.

Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: October 18, 2011 1:52 pm

Teams have 'internal discussions' on Forte trade?

The biggest problem with the pay running backs get is that most of them are a product of the offensive line.  Just because a running back is good on one team doesn't mean they will be good on another team.  Look at Denver past years, they had all these 'great' running backs and they would trade them to other teams and all of a sudden they stunk.  These days with free agency you can see a running back go from great one year to awful the next because his lineman go to other teams.  I think teams are starting to learn this lesson and are paying lineman more and are less willing to pay the running backs long term.

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: October 18, 2011 1:47 pm

Teams have 'internal discussions' on Forte trade?

I hope the Colts will seriously start thinking of getting a legitimate threat at the running back position. It's time to take a lot of pressure off Peyton next season or else he will be getting injured more often. I think Forte can help Peyton a lot.The last time the Colts had a great running back was .....can't even remember. Dickerson and Faulk was many many moons ago. Come on Colts, Peyton's injury this season should be a wake up call for the team.

Since: Nov 7, 2008
Posted on: October 18, 2011 1:34 pm

Teams have 'internal discussions' on Forte trade?

No more draft picks for Angelo, please.  If they are gonna trade us picks, we might as well just take nothing and give him away based on the record we have as of late with our picks.

I doubt Forte is bringing this up as, at least from the interviews he has given, this doesn't seem to be in his personality.  An agent on the other hand...definitely possible.  I just dont understand why the Bears don't want to pay him....if we are going to run a "greatest show on turf" offense, shouldn't we at least have a poor mans Marshall Fauk?  Pay the guy.   

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