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Matt Forte: Contract situation is a distraction

Bears' running back Forte celebrates a touchdown during the second quarter of their NFL football game against Panthers in Chicago Reuters

The Bears finally rediscovered their running game on Sunday, giving the ball to Matt Forte 25 times and watching him scamper for 205 yards in their 34-29 win over the Panthers.

That was a welcome change for a team that had become overly reliant on the pass despite a leaky offensive line and sketchy receiving corps. That’s not the only change that Forte would like to see, however. He wants a new contract from the team, but talks have ceased on that front and Forte admitted in an appearance on ESPN 100 Radio’s “Waddle and Silvy Show” Monday that the lack of progress on that front has become a distraction.

“It’s always going to be a distraction because I’m not a robot; I’m human,” Forte said. “I try to put it out of my mind sometimes. I go out every day on the practice or game field I’m focused on playing football, I’m not worried about that. But it is a distraction sometimes and you can’t help but think about it a lot.”

Forte, whose contract runs out after this season, also repeated an earlier assertion that the Bears don’t consider him to be an elite running back. Definitions of elite will vary, but Forte is averaging more total yards per game than any other back in the league through four weeks and he’s been the team’s most productive pass catcher in addition to his work on the ground. Elite or not, he’s a productive player and wants to be treated as such.

“I don’t want to be the guy that holds grudges but it always sticks in the back of your mind, things like that. It’s the ugly side of the business. The NFL is a business, and that’s the ugly side of it. I just want to be somewhere I’m valued as a player.”

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29 Responses to “Matt Forte: Contract situation is a distraction”
  1. jeffharwell3 says: Oct 3, 2011 4:31 PM

    screw it… play out the year and hopefully you dont get injured then you will have your choice of where to play and not have to play behind that weak o line

  2. butlers91 says: Oct 3, 2011 4:32 PM

    They are nuts for not locking this guy up. I mean…I am a Lions fans, so PLEASE don’t lock him up….but he is awfully good.

  3. 305phinphan says: Oct 3, 2011 4:33 PM

    Just hang in there Matt, just look at the last Bear who waited and got a big payday extension…….oh wait nevermind!

  4. tampajoey says: Oct 3, 2011 4:38 PM

    Make them pay Forte! If the Bears don’t appreciate you by prying open their checkbook then plenty of other teams will.

    Go get yours Matt, No hometown discount!

  5. joecb91 says: Oct 3, 2011 4:38 PM

    He has certainly played well enough to get paid. Best player on the Bears offense.

  6. sicklife1 says: Oct 3, 2011 4:39 PM

    I’m sure the Bears are loving this distraction….guy is having a career year. Might as well just franchise him next year & hope he does the same thing….

  7. jpiro says: Oct 3, 2011 4:42 PM

    Bears fan, and I love Forte, but locking a RB in for huge money is an awful idea in today’s NFL. If the Bears can get him at a reasonable price, great. If they can’t, there are plenty of free agent and draft-eligible options. (Starting on their own roster with Marion Barber.)

  8. ajknox88 says: Oct 3, 2011 4:43 PM

    Here he is again proving my opinion hes better than Chris Johnson.

  9. doe22us says: Oct 3, 2011 4:46 PM

    In the end he will get paid one way or the other he shouldnt be too worried. I am assuming he has taken out an insurance premium

  10. chocolatebaconbutter says: Oct 3, 2011 4:50 PM

    You know what’s a distraction? Someone whining about his contract situation being a distraction in the middle of the season is a distraction. Idiot. Yeah, everyone agrees you’re underpaid. Yeah, everyone agrees you need a huge raise. But shut up and play. Honor your current deal. Play like you have been and you’ll be rewarded.

    Is it me or are players whining at a record pace this year?

  11. asublimeday says: Oct 3, 2011 4:54 PM

    I hate jerry Angelo more every day.

  12. jaypace says: Oct 3, 2011 5:01 PM

    He’s been a productive back they should pay him.

  13. capslockkey says: Oct 3, 2011 5:02 PM

    Seriously, what is wrong with that front office? They have no trouble wasting big money on bums they consider elite like Cedric Benson and Chester Taylor who suck, but will nickel and dime their backs that are actually good like Forte and Thomas Jones before him.

  14. kingokra says: Oct 3, 2011 5:11 PM

    I’m a big Forte fan but, dude, you need to honor your contract. Take out an insurance policy against injury and get ready to cash in next year. Hit the open market, I’m sure you’ll get a bigger and better offer than any the Bears will give you. In addition, you’ll get to pick whom you want to play for. In the meantime, if you need a couple bucks for mac n cheese or some top ramen, give me a call.

  15. jutts says: Oct 3, 2011 5:26 PM

    Please George Mckaskey, by firing Jerry Angelo and Tim Ruskell you’ll be able pay Matt Forte all he wants. Plus, you will be able to afford a “Real” General Manager. Please, listen to the public and all the fans all over the world.

  16. duanethomas says: Oct 3, 2011 5:27 PM

    Shut up and play ball. Looks like you need to be distracted all the time.

  17. tsimpson50 says: Oct 3, 2011 5:31 PM

    Wow! I can’t imagine how distracting it is for him. It’s like the guy who gets a balloon mortgage and then gets mad when the balloon payments kick in.

    Cowboy up and be a professional. Wait a minute, forgot he is being a professional. It’s now more about the individual than the team.

  18. chocolatebaconbutter says: Oct 3, 2011 5:36 PM

    When are people going to learn? The truly great personnel departments don’t pay guys for what they’ve DONE, they pay guys for what they think they’re GOING TO DO. Ever wonder why for the most part the same teams are good almost every year? They make good shrewd personnel decisions. Look who is always there. The Pats, Steelers, Ravens, Giants, Eagles, just to name a few.

    Not saying they shouldn’t pay Forte, but be prudent. Paying a RB huge money is today’s NFL can be a huge mistake way more often than not.

  19. bigwhitey says: Oct 3, 2011 5:40 PM

    Love Forte. Pay him, but give him reasonable money. This is his fourth year in a league where rb’s shelf life is short. Don’t break the bank.

  20. Pacific NW Mark says: Oct 3, 2011 5:45 PM

    Forte’s negotiating position gets better every week. The Bears were fools not to take care of this before the season started.

  21. rdssc says: Oct 3, 2011 5:56 PM

    Bears are idiots it is almost like they want Forte to get hurt so they can say I told you so. Can’t wait to see the look on Angelos face when he has to tell the Mckaskey’s they need to franchise Forte for 8M next year. The longer you wait to pay a good player the more you pay.

  22. cappa662 says: Oct 3, 2011 5:57 PM

    You showed what you could do, just sit out the rest of the year. An NFL RBs life span is 3 years max… and for Forte to be paid 600K is insulting. Pay that man his money. 5 years 40 mill. 22 mill guaranteed.

  23. NFLJunkie says: Oct 3, 2011 6:01 PM

    If the Bears can get him at a reasonable price, great. If they can’t, there are plenty of free agent and draft-eligible options. (Starting on their own roster with Marion Barber.)

    You mean until the nex time Barber scores a TD and tries to celebrate with a back flip, and maybe breaks his ankle when he lands short again?

    (That? Was hilarious.)

  24. pudgalvin says: Oct 3, 2011 6:03 PM

    Problem is he wants Deangelo Williams money. Never going to happen.

    Other problem is he only has career days against the Panthers. Sure he’s a good pass catcher, but so is a guy like Darren Sproles, who has a 4 year 16 million dollar deal, with 4 mil guaranteed. Forte wants 21 million guaranteed.

    Forte needs to lower his asking price soon or he’s going to get franchised next year and then be a 28 year old free agent the following season. Good luck getting a monster contract then. I’m not saying the Bears shouldn’t pay him, but he needs to realize he doesn’t have a ton of leverage right now.

  25. herlies says: Oct 3, 2011 6:20 PM

    I would not trust Jerry Angelo and his empty promises. Finish the year strong, pray you stay healthy, and then take your business elsewhere.

  26. mmcdan13 says: Oct 3, 2011 6:49 PM

    634 total yards through 4 weeks. You can make a case that he’s been the best running back in football so far this year. And he’s 25. I think I’d pay that guy.

  27. m2karateman says: Oct 3, 2011 6:59 PM

    Hey Matt, they were too cheap to pay Olin that extra half million, what makes you think they’ll pay you what you’re worth?

    Plenty of teams will be happy to pay you an honest amount. Jerry Angelo is a liar and a cheapskate. He’s going to destroy that team.

  28. bearzfan says: Oct 3, 2011 7:13 PM

    jeffharwell3 says:
    Oct 3, 2011 4:31 PM
    screw it… play out the year and hopefully you dont get injured then you will have your choice of where to play and not have to play behind that weak o line
    _____________

    actually jeff, the Bears can franchise tag him and he would NOT have his choice of where to play next year. nice try though

  29. bearzfan says: Oct 3, 2011 7:17 PM

    kingokra says:
    Oct 3, 2011 5:11 PM
    I’m a big Forte fan but, dude, you need to honor your contract. Take out an insurance policy against injury and get ready to cash in next year. Hit the open market, I’m sure you’ll get a bigger and better offer than any the Bears will give you. In addition, you’ll get to pick whom you want to play for. In the meantime, if you need a couple bucks for mac n cheese or some top ramen, give me a call.
    ______________
    king, you and your fellow “hit the market” next year crew are forgetting about the franchise tag. The Bears have the leverage here, like it or not. I like Forte alot, but waiting until the end of the year doesn’t really benefit Matt

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