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: Mar 1, 2011
Posted on: November 5, 2011 10:46 am

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

Why do agents let their rookie RB clients sign 4 and 5 year rookie contracts?

Since: Sep 22, 2009
Posted on: November 5, 2011 8:33 am

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

Bears should pay him, period. They just want to use him up then let him go when he's no good to anyone. Cheap, cheap, cheap. This doesn't have to be Chris Johnson money, just give him something.

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: November 3, 2011 10:38 pm

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.

yeah well said i agree 100%. 

Since: Sep 16, 2010
Posted on: November 3, 2011 1:05 pm

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

no one is making him do anything.  Carson Palmer turned out alright. Forte can also add his self to the injury list for a few weeks against select opponents that will show the value of his missing production.  

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: November 3, 2011 12:30 pm

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

 If you are so unhappy with your contract perhaps you shouldn't agree to and signed it

If you were talking about Briggs I would agree with this statement.  But Forte is still playing on his rookie contract.  He was not a 1st rounder, so he had little to no leverage to get a better deal.  For where he was drafted, he got a fair contract, but now that we know what kind of pro he is, he is grossly underpaid.  Owners opt out of contracts all the time.  Rookies, especially rookie RBs (who have a notoriously short carrer on average) should be able to get some scratch when they outplay their deals. The only thing he could have possibly done to better his situation would have been to have a better college career.  He has done everything asked of him as a pro, anbd should get paid.  I also agree that he is a very good, but not elite runner, but I think he becomes an elite back when you factor in what kind of weapon he is as a receiver.

Since: May 22, 2007
Posted on: November 3, 2011 12:02 pm

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

In a way the Bears are holding Matt Forte's sad, but true. Chicago has been notorius for not playing their playings and putting franchise tags on them. I wonder how much the Texans think Arian Foster is worth...a lot more, because they are committed to winnning and doing right by most of their players. The deal is always the guaranteed money...Chris Johnson got his, even though the Titans blew that deal, and Kevin Kolb got a bunch from the Cardinals...both teams are in a lot of hurt because of it.

You can take the Bears side of it and say, well, when your contract is over, we'll know that's not going to happen, ask Lance Briggs because the franchise tag is readily available. Forte is a large part of the Bears offense, but they aren't going to win a superbowl this year, so, I guess they're trying to squeeze Forte a little before putting the franchise tag on him. Does it mag business sense? Sure, why not...

Us ordinary folks who work without a contract and we can be summarily dismissed at any time without as much as a see ya later. I don't have much sympathy for pro football players, but I do from a labor standpoint...the owners have the upper hand. It would have been nice to know just how much Forte was making...well, I looked it up, $555K...he's a steal and the Bears are really stupid for not trying to do something. Even Robbie Gould makes about 3 times as much as Forte...hilarious.

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: November 3, 2011 11:55 am

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

I think it is safe to say. he does deserve to get paid...he is earning is money.  He is playing very well, he does deserve to be talked to about a new contract...however, I would have to say he is the one who signed the contract so he agreed to terms of his deal.  What that means?  They have a right to run you and use you as they see fit, thats how it works.  Not many teams(or players) do much negotiating during the season...thats how it works, go out play, do your job well and you will be taken care of.  Forte is a very good RB, not an elite RB...he needs to realize that if he does not want to do his job, there are plenty of other very good RB's that can do the job too.  He has the elusiveness and speed...however he does not have the pounding that the elite RB's have...there are reasons that the Bears brought in Marion Barber to do the pounding.  If you are so unhappy with your contract perhaps you shouldn't agree to and signed it...if you are that unhappy you should perhaps go out and get a "job", see how that treats you.  I think all professional athletes need a solid dose of reality so they can really see and appreciate how the other half lives...perhaps they would appreciate their position a little more.

Since: Jun 11, 2008
Posted on: November 3, 2011 11:51 am

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

You can add Ahmad Bradshaw to the list of running backs with fat new contracts who are under-performing this year.

Since: Sep 1, 2011
Posted on: November 3, 2011 11:25 am

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

If I'm the Bears (and I'm not), I'm telling Forte the same thing I'm telling Peyton Hillis: "Finish this year, then we'll talk". RB's are a dime a dozen in the NFL. Sure there are 1, maybe 2 elite RB's (Adrian Peterson & LeSean McCoy) playing lights-out right now. However, mostly, RB's are nothing but a compliment to a team's passing attack.

Chris Johnson will forever be the cautionary tale. What a joke. If they do not make the playoffs, it might go down as the worst investment an NFL team has ever made.

Forte, go somewhere else where they will likely overpay for you (Denver, Cleveland, Washington, Arizona).

Since: Jun 3, 2007
Posted on: November 3, 2011 11:25 am

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

All of you guys are missing the point. The NFL is the only professional sport where contracts mean nothing. They could sign Forte to a long term contract, but it's still only worth each year's play. The owners can cut any player after each season and void the contract. The only portion, which they should be smart about, is the guaranteed. The Titans can cut CJ after this season with no more to pay him. So long term deals are useless unless you play and perform each year of your contract. You guys are over-thinking the whole thing. And to those who say they shouldn't get paid over $1M a year, uh.... We all pay their salaries. IF no one goes to the games, pay these enormous prices for tickets, food, apparel, and even the products who sponsor the games, they couldn'tget paid; the owners couldn't get paid either!!! So until people stop giving their money, please do what you want these athletes to do.... STOP WHINING!!!!

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