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: Aug 17, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2011 1:35 pm

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

Wah, wah, wah!

He will get his pay! If I was him I would make it the best season possible so he can get that big pay off!

Cry some more Forte!

Since: Jul 20, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2011 1:35 pm

Matt Forte is AWESOME

Matt Forte is awesome!  He's big, he's fast, he catches the ball out of the backfield, he can run over you and he can make you miss.  He routinely compensates for bad blocking and turns nothing into a big play.  He is on the same level as Adrian Peterson, yes I said it. Adrian Peterson deserves the contract extension he received earlier this year, and Forte deserves a contract extension as well. He is proving his worth on the field each week, every week. If the Bears don't pay him, it just confirms that they have the worst front office in football.

Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: November 2, 2011 1:31 pm

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

Modern day slavery.
Stupidest post of the day! The slaves did not have high priced agents negotiating for them. The slaves did not have a collective bargaining agreement that their Players' Association just negotiated a couple of months ago. The slaves didn't CHOOSE to play professional sports for a living. The slaves did not have the bling and the cars and the plasma TVs that NFL football players have. Do not compare this to forced captivity and servitude - please. If the players didn't like the CBA, then they shouldn't have accepted it, but they did, and they did so by choice - not because they were enslaved. STUPID, STUPID, STUPID.

Since: Mar 28, 2009
Posted on: November 2, 2011 1:22 pm

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

Modern day slavery.

Since: Aug 12, 2010
Posted on: November 2, 2011 1:19 pm

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

Shawn Alexander, Larry Johnson and now De'Angelo Williams and Chris Johnson are messing it up for all elite running backs wanting big contracts. They did or they aren't living up to expectations. Thank you Adrian Peterson for still doing your thing after getting paid.

Since: Feb 2, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 1:18 pm

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

Shibby if the Bears use the Franchise tag on Forte he "can't turn it down and go elsewhere." The whole point of the tag is to keep a player from free agency for a year and pay him an average salary of what the the highest paid players in his position make. The player has no say the team has ultimate control.

I'm tired of hearing about how he signed a contract and should live up to it. Garrard signed a contract and Jags cut him and didn't have to pay him crap they didn't live up to the contract. If Forte has a career ending injury on his current contract he is SOL, very little guaranteed money.

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2011 1:18 pm

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

He's going to get paid either in Chicago or somewhere else, I'm sure the Bears are willing to give him some big money to stay in town a few more years. It's probably a matter of 8 mil per or 12 mil per.... RB's usually don't produce that much on the second and bigger contract, but your paying for what they've done in the past when you give them the money. I'm glad i got him in the 3rd round of my fantasy, never dreamt he'd go for 2000 yards most likely.

Since: May 27, 2008
Posted on: November 2, 2011 1:08 pm

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

As a long time Bears fan this seems pretty common for the owners and front office.  I just don't get it.  He is 40% of your offense.  Don't mess around with that.  They extended Cutler's contract in the middle of a season...although I am a Cutler fan I'd have to say it is more dangerous to lose Forte.  This reminds me so much of what happened to Neal sad.  Bear down and man up!!!

Since: Oct 6, 2009
Posted on: November 2, 2011 1:07 pm

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

Matt Forte is a beast.  He is a threat to run and catch the ball any time he is on the field.  I'm hopeful the Bears realize what they have in him and break some cash off for him.  They need to realize that he can't carry as big a load as he is now and keep performing at the high level for years.  Having Marion Barber for some of the short yardage plays definitely helps but building a more diverse offense is a key to Forte's longevity.

Since: Nov 7, 2008
Posted on: November 2, 2011 1:05 pm

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

...and if the Bears use the franchise tag

If they use the tag, he can turn it down and go elsewhere.  From what I am getting from the situation, it is more about security than the Chris Johnson "I am a playmaker, pay me more than I am worth" situation.   So I can definitely see him walking away from the Bears to get a long term deal, who will then have thrown away almost all of their offense for no reason other than stubborness.  This is the same backa$$wards logic that got Olsen sent off to Carolina.  If you are lucky to get top tier weapons, pay em.  If he comes back in the middle of the deal and wants more, then you stand firm.  But that's not what this is.  

Just look at Chris Johnson and ask yourself how much a RB is really worth in the NFL.
And then take a look at Peterson and Gore and McCoy in Philly.  Sure, teams win without an elite RB.  But those teams have elite QB's and other weapons.  We don't have that (well we might have the QB, but he is surrounded by JC talent and no line).  
Take the money and get a left tackle to protect your QB instead.  A good RB is much easier to get than a quality QB. 
Where?  Are you shopping on Angelo's "lineman tree?"  And say we find this mythical LT, even though we also need to fill 3 of the other 4 spots as well to have a decent OL, who then is Cutler going to throw to?  Hester is inconsistent and can't catch half the time, Knox shows up sometimes, Bennett is hurt all the time, Williams is just cashing a check, and Sanzenbacher is one route across the middle away from a Waddle-like career ending concussion.  Our leading receiver is......wait for it......Forte, the guy you want to run out of town.  

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