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Matt Forte: If I don’t get a new contract, I might not play the preseason


Bears running back Matt Forte said last month that he thinks he deserves a new contract, but he wouldn’t hold out from training camp if he didn’t get one.

Forte is making no such promises about the preseason.

I’ve considered not playing in the preseason games,” Forte told the Chicago Tribune.

Forte’s point of view is simple: If the Bears aren’t willing to give him a long-term contract extension, he doesn’t want to risk a serious injury in a meaningless exhibition game. He’s not saying he absolutely refuses to play in the preseason, but he’s at least considering it.

And Forte especially doesn’t want to play preseason games at Soldier Field, where the poor quality of the surface is such an injury risk that the team canceled its public practice there on Friday.

“Any time the field is not good enough to practice on that is a concern,” Forte said.

You can’t blame Forte for not wanting to risk his health in an exhibition game. You can’t blame any NFL player for not wanting to risk his health in an exhibition game. But it will be interesting to see whether Forte feels strongly enough about skipping the preseason that he simply refuses to play, and if so how the Bears will react.

Forte and the Bears have both said they expect to get something worked out, but this is a situation worth keeping an eye on.

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41 Responses to “Matt Forte: If I don’t get a new contract, I might not play the preseason”
  1. waitingguilty says: Aug 7, 2011 9:32 AM

    Anything that sticks it to Angelo is fine by me.

  2. everydayimfumbilin says: Aug 7, 2011 9:37 AM

    oh no! not the preseason anything but that!

  3. eaglesfootballfan says: Aug 7, 2011 9:40 AM

    If you want a new contract, you go out and you perform. You put the team first and then you will get rewarded.

  4. jw731 says: Aug 7, 2011 9:41 AM

    Do you think the bears, who signed Gholston, Roy Williams, and every first round bust they could get their cheap a$$ on actually care about the field? If they did, they would have signed some players……..

  5. foradenverbroncotouchdown says: Aug 7, 2011 9:42 AM

    God, it must be nice to skip work because you’re unhappy with how much you make.

  6. nannymcsack says: Aug 7, 2011 9:43 AM

    i was under the impression that one should accomplish something before asking for an extension…

  7. cup1981 says: Aug 7, 2011 9:44 AM

    Dude, you’re an average back at best. Any 6th rd pick can walk in and rush for 1,000 yds nowadays. Shut up and play!

  8. 6ringsofsteel says: Aug 7, 2011 9:46 AM

    Someone give him a tissue

  9. wryly1 says: Aug 7, 2011 9:47 AM

    Can’t fault him one bit. NFL RB has one of the highest injury risk and shortest career spans in all of sport – and if your near the top of your profession, as Forte has been the past fews seasons, ya gotta get it while you can.

  10. tucknrolle says: Aug 7, 2011 9:51 AM

    They are going to figure this out in no time. Forte is a good back with great hands. Hopefully, for the Bears sake, Marion Barber improves their depth at RB and Roy Williams reuniting with Martz improves their depth at WR. I enjoy watching the Bears play and I really like almost all their players. (Except Cutler)

  11. kalispellmt says: Aug 7, 2011 9:52 AM

    Smart kid.

  12. bahshah27 says: Aug 7, 2011 9:57 AM

    Hey Matt… Don’t look behind you. Here comes Marion Barber.

  13. turbodog1027 says: Aug 7, 2011 9:57 AM

    That field and Bear fans deserve each other

  14. bleedblue18 says: Aug 7, 2011 10:01 AM

    Does it matter, preseason games suck and are pointless for most veterans anyway. I remember years ago when the Colts had Edgerin James he would never play any preseason games and still come ready for the regular season and have a great season. He did that year after year, guy never played preseason.
    Preseason is mainly for rookies and Free agents trying to make the team and maybe some veterans try to shake off a little rust.

    He will be fine.

  15. edmazeing1 says: Aug 7, 2011 10:05 AM

    Pretty soon madden video game will start making players hold out for more money!!!

  16. infectorman says: Aug 7, 2011 10:08 AM

    O-line notwithstanding, Bears fans will be treated to 1.6 yards and a cloud of dust as opposed to 2.1 yds and a cloud of dust for the 1st quarter of the season as not playing in pre-season surely set him back 3-4 games in his yearly progress

  17. blueintown says: Aug 7, 2011 10:09 AM

    Good for him. His chances of getting hurt are multiplied tenfold running behind that line. This could get ugly, though. I doubt they’re gonna want to pay him..

  18. chatham10 says: Aug 7, 2011 10:11 AM

    He is a good running back but holding out during pre season will not shake up the Bears as he probably would not play but a few snaps. He wants to make a statement, leave camp but he is under contract and he would be fined but that is a sham because when he does sign the fine would be part of the new contract.

  19. mhs8031 says: Aug 7, 2011 10:12 AM

    There are several dynamics at play here. First, where did we ever get the idea that 4 preseason games are necessary? Secondly, Matt, you play 2 games away. Are you playing those games? Finally, Running backs take a beating and are usually done by the time their second contracts roll around, so I see his point. However, if he gets injured because he is not in game shape, how is that smart?

    Maybe the teams should insure the players against career-ending injuries. However, Matt, the reason you make so much is, in part, due to the risk.

  20. jutts says: Aug 7, 2011 10:14 AM

    Here is another example of what Angelo and Ruskell to do to screw things up. The guy deserves and new contract, so pay him. Instead of bringing in all these busts. I’d rather see guys like Fantuz and Sansenbacker make the team. At least you know they will give it their all. I’m not so sure about Roy Williams and Vernon Gholston..
    I hope George Mckaskey knows what he’s doing. If he does, there will be a major house cleaning this Winter. Speaking of House Cleaning, Lets put down turf that the “players” actually like. Or would that make too much sense?

  21. chowface86 says: Aug 7, 2011 10:17 AM

    Someone needs to let this kid know not to take advice from Curtis P. Enis.

  22. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: Aug 7, 2011 10:18 AM

    Do your job or walk away from the NFL!

  23. polegojim says: Aug 7, 2011 10:18 AM

    How foolish is this? Without Forte – the offense is a bust.

    The only reason Cutler has success is the Forte threat. Show the man some RESPECT, sign a long term deal with guaranteed $.

  24. tatum064 says: Aug 7, 2011 10:24 AM

    I didnt realize Matt Forte could make Adrian Peterson type demands…didnt we have lockout to solve this nonsense? Good riddance, let him hold out for the pre-season and beyond, sign Clinton Portis.

  25. tatum064 says: Aug 7, 2011 10:24 AM

    Sign Ricky Williams, they need to send a message quick…

  26. dsharpe8 says: Aug 7, 2011 10:28 AM

    See here goes the McCaskeys’ and Angelo with that cheap sh!t. Just open up the check book and play the man. He’s one of the best all around backs in the league…

  27. balzosteel says: Aug 7, 2011 10:30 AM

    Forte is wasting his career away in Chicago. So long as Mr. Angelo is running the show, that will be the case of anybody who steps foot onto Soldier Field. As a Packer fan, I’m impressed at how great a job that Lovie has actually done there with in my eyes, little talent across the board on the roster. When Johnny Knox is your leading reciever, you have problems…..and probably more than one.

  28. kalispellmt says: Aug 7, 2011 10:38 AM

    Chester Taylor; under 300 yards/ 1.25 mil+

    Matt Forte; over 1,500 all purpose yds/ .555 mil.

    The way the Bears use him he might not be around long.

  29. simplesimon1 says: Aug 7, 2011 10:42 AM

    He deserves it. As a Lions fan he’s one of the players I fear seeing rip through my team when we play. Also, to eaglesfootballfan, Forte has put in the time and play and does deserve to get paid. At least he’s not running up insane bar tabs when he goes out with his group (I believe the number was 25K or more) and posting it on twitter and then holding out for a new contract like Desean Jackson is. He’s handling it with class.

  30. Patriot42 says: Aug 7, 2011 10:46 AM

    Maybe all the players can skip exhibition games that would really show them. This guy is an idiot.

  31. sfkforever says: Aug 7, 2011 11:02 AM


  32. stvang says: Aug 7, 2011 11:14 AM

    But the bears are championship like.

    Packers 11-5
    Lions 9-7
    bears 7-9
    vikings 6-10

  33. gopack62363 says: Aug 7, 2011 11:28 AM

    How in this day and age with all the technology available for turf management, types of grass etc can a field at the START of the season be so crappy? Oh wait I know…it’s da bears! Never mind! By the way, Forte’s not that good so he should be careful about making demands. He’d be lucky to be a third down back on a good team so he should be happy he’s with the Bears. Shut up and play.

  34. mantastic54 says: Aug 7, 2011 11:45 AM

    This is great. The one draft pick that Angelo hasn’t screwed up, and he doesn’t want to extend him. Brilliant

  35. dsharpe8 says: Aug 7, 2011 11:46 AM

    It hurts to say this, but as long as the McCaskeys owns the Bears they will never field the best team they can afford because they’re historically cheap. I understand and appreciate the Bears’ history because she’s the daughter of our beloved team founder, George S. Halas. I just think if they sold the team to someone who’ll maximize all the resources we have, e.g. Mark Cuban hello!!! But the chances of them selling the team are absolutely “zero”. I’m still amazed at the fact they haven’t invested in field turf yet.

  36. darthvincent says: Aug 7, 2011 12:13 PM

    well if Cutler can quit on duh Bears during the NFC Championship game… I see no reason why Forte can’t quit on duh Bears during the pre-season. He’s just following the precedent set by his team “leader”.

  37. bdonahue54 says: Aug 7, 2011 12:57 PM

    Average back at best? Are you frickin’ kidding me? Forte could start on a lot of NFL teams TODAY. You people are just so dumb witted and just because he’s not a superstar and doesn’t get the spotlight like Peterson, Johnson, D.Williams, and Gore, Rice, Bush, etc… you think Forte is just an average back. Besides if those guys held out of camp or games because of they didn’t like their contract, you wouldn’t have a problem with that because they are “Superstars”, and deserving of it. But not Matt Forte.

    All-purpose yards, rookie Year: 1715 yards, 2nd Year: 1400 yards, and 3rd Year: 1616 yards. He led the team in receptions his rookie season and was second in the team in catches in 2009. His 290 some touches last season accounted for more than 30 percent of Chicago’s entire offense…again…. 30 percent! Chester Taylor & Marion Barber (his backups) are getting paid between 2-6 million a year (don’t know the exact number) and Forte is only going to get paid $550,000 this year?? Are you kidding me?

    But you’re right…he doesn’t deserve a new contract…

  38. blueintown says: Aug 7, 2011 1:43 PM

    There are very few NFL running backs with multi-million dollar value. Maybe four or five tops. Matt Forte is not one of them.

  39. bdonahue54 says: Aug 7, 2011 2:02 PM

    I understand that, but please pay him more then his backups…

  40. nuclearwarfare says: Aug 7, 2011 2:09 PM

    What is with all of these players wanting new contracts this year? I mean, I know players start chirping every year for new contracts, but this year seems worse than most.

    Especially when it comes to holds outs and threats to holdout.

    Jesus, we just got football back after THE PLAYERS and owners locked horns over a labor issue. Why make yourselves (the players) seem even more greedy by demanding more money?

  41. baboushka says: Aug 7, 2011 2:20 PM

    @kalispellmt says:
    Aug 7, 2011 10:38 AM
    “Chester Taylor; under 300 yards/ 1.25 mil+

    Matt Forte; over 1,500 all purpose yds/ .555 mil.

    The way the Bears use him he might not be around long.”

    +1. I’m with you 100% on this one. I say cut or trade Chester Taylor. Give Forte Taylor’s money on top of the $.555, along with an atta-boy performance bonus. Keep or bring in a rookie. And release the Hounds! This would seem like a no brainer for Lovie, McCaskey and Angelo.

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