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Matt Forte: If the Bears won’t pay me, another team will

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

It’s not exactly breaking news to say that Bears running back Matt Forte is still not happy about his contract.

But now Forte, inspired by a Chicago Tribune report that two teams have discussed acquiring him in a trade, is expressing even more confidence that he’ll get paid next year, whether it’s the Bears or someone else.

“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.”

It’s troubling for the Bears that one of their best players takes every opportunity to say he feels unappreciated, but the prospect of playing for a contract certainly seems to be inspiring Forte to play well. Forte is having a tremendous year, with 99 carries for 527 yards and 36 catches for 381 yards.

As for the Tribune report that two teams have talked about acquiring Forte in a trade, don’t expect anything to come of it. The Tribune doesn’t identify the teams, and the Bears aren’t going to trade away their best offensive player. If Forte is going to find another team to pay him, it won’t be until next year.

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45 Responses to “Matt Forte: If the Bears won’t pay me, another team will”
  1. kingmj4891 says: Oct 18, 2011 7:31 AM

    Should trade him to the Lions for a 3rd and they can have their pick between Peterman or Backus.

    Just kidding Bears Stink this year beside Forte!

  2. woodg8 says: Oct 18, 2011 7:34 AM

    PAY THE MAN

  3. quittsburghstoolers says: Oct 18, 2011 7:35 AM

    Careful, Bears.

    This is starting to look a little like Chris Johnson, part 2 to me.

    Be sure that (if it’s possible) to base his pay on his future numbers. If he continues to produce then let his pay reflect it. If he no longer put up numbers, then he doesn’t get as much money.

    Too bad for the Titans they couldn’t get CJ to sign an incentive-laden contract like that…

  4. baned0n says: Oct 18, 2011 7:39 AM

    How do you write this article without mentioning that the Bears can simply put the franchise tag on Forte? Which they will assuredly do before letting him walk away to another team.

  5. steelerdynasty2010 says: Oct 18, 2011 7:40 AM

    we’ll trade you for mendenhall straight up

  6. catman72 says: Oct 18, 2011 7:44 AM

    Sorry Matt, Peppers got your money.

  7. lucky5934 says: Oct 18, 2011 7:47 AM

    I wish the Giants would trade for him. Giants could use an every down back like that.

  8. nflofficeadmin says: Oct 18, 2011 7:48 AM

    Bears must have a trick up their sleeve, either that or they are really stupid or don’t care about winning. (See Mike Brown.)

  9. nickwillis99 says: Oct 18, 2011 7:50 AM

    “don’t expect anything to come of it . . . the Bears aren’t going to trade away their best offensive player”

    Well, they didn’t hesitate to send their 2nd best offensive weapon to Carolina. Mike Martz couldn’t get rid of Greg Olsen quick enough, it seemed

  10. stanklepoot says: Oct 18, 2011 7:50 AM

    quittsburghstoolers says: Oct 18, 2011 7:35 AM

    Careful, Bears.

    This is starting to look a little like Chris Johnson, part 2 to me.

    Be sure that (if it’s possible) to base his pay on his future numbers. If he continues to produce then let his pay reflect it. If he no longer put up numbers, then he doesn’t get as much money.

    Too bad for the Titans they couldn’t get CJ to sign an incentive-laden contract like that…
    _________________________
    Well, seeing as how Forte has been seriously underpaid (at least, given the market value for his kind of offensive production around the league) for a while now, and that he’s pretty much been stuck with all of the risk since he entered the league, I have no problem with the Bears taking on a little risk when it comes to a new contract. Even if there is a little bit of a drop off, the Bears have been getting such a great discount on his services that it would still even out. A lot of people seem to forget that when it comes to contract extensions or FA contracts.

    When players come into the league, they do so at the whim of the teams and their scouts. If the teams fail to recognize a player’s potential, it’s the player that gets screwed…while less deserving players earn much more than they should. For these players, the second contract or contract extension is where they make the money that their play on the field has earned them. Let’s face it, not too many RBs are going to get a big third contract.

  11. dopesimms says: Oct 18, 2011 7:50 AM

    quittsburghstoolers says:
    Oct 18, 2011 7:35 AM
    Careful, Bears.

    This is starting to look a little like Chris Johnson, part 2 to me.

    Be sure that (if it’s possible) to base his pay on his future numbers. If he continues to produce then let his pay reflect it. If he no longer put up numbers, then he doesn’t get as much money.

    Too bad for the Titans they couldn’t get CJ to sign an incentive-laden contract like that…
    ————————————————–

    Forte isn’t asking to become the highest paid runningback in the league. He’s asking for the contract extension he deserves. Chris Johnson’s ego is his downfall. Battling with Adrian Peterson over who is the best runningback in the league handsdown. Forte just feels unappreciated, which he should.

  12. stanklepoot says: Oct 18, 2011 7:55 AM

    baned0n says: Oct 18, 2011 7:39 AM

    How do you write this article without mentioning that the Bears can simply put the franchise tag on Forte? Which they will assuredly do before letting him walk away to another team.
    ___________________________
    True, but if the Bears franchise him, Forte is still getting paid rather well. It might only be a one year contract, but it’s completely guaranteed and the avg of the top 5 RB salaries in the league. Furthermore, the huge salary cap hit a franchise tag represents tends to encourage teams to use the tag as a temporary measure that protects a team’s rights to a player while they work out a new deal…one that starts out at a higher salary given the large amount of guaranteed money that comes with the tag.

  13. ch0rn says: Oct 18, 2011 7:56 AM

    The bears aren’t trading him. They have all the leverage, they can franchise him, and with the new CBA players can’t really hold out any more. The fines are some ridiculous amount like 10k a day.

  14. crazycane says: Oct 18, 2011 7:59 AM

    Bears are 19 million under the cap and have the worst GM in all of the NFL. Have the cheapest owners in the NFL. Have one of the oldest D’s in the NFL. And now don’t want to pay the guy who is 50% of their offense.

    WAY TO GO BEARS!!!

    GSH is turning in his grave at how bad his daughter is running this team

  15. blackqbwhiterb says: Oct 18, 2011 8:05 AM

    Bears should have prevented this distraction. Bears could have prevented this distraction. Bears chose to allow this distraction.

  16. faulkana says: Oct 18, 2011 8:06 AM

    Forte’s whining is getting old quickly.
    You’ll get paid. Somewhere.
    You’ll probably get paid more if teams don’t see you as a constant whiner.
    Shut up and play.
    Free advice.

  17. chadman128 says: Oct 18, 2011 8:09 AM

    For those that are not in the Chicago area you probably didn’t see all the reports during camp as the two sides tried to reach a new contract. As a Bears fan I love watching Forte but the Bears offered him Frank Gore money and he turned it down so don’t make it sound like the Bears have been cheap and not offered any money to the guy. He wants paid as a top 3 back and while his numbers may reflect it this year I agree you cant let him push you in to a Chris Johnson type contract. If they can’t agree to a new contract the Bears are going to franchise him so the guy really has no leverage.

  18. ranksarot says: Oct 18, 2011 8:16 AM

    Forte can thank Chris Johnsons lack of production for not getting an extension. I don’t blame Forte one bit for wanting to get paid. And I hope he does. But Chris Johnsons happen all the time in this league. Remember Sean Alexander? So I don’t blame the Bears for not wanting to pay him either….

  19. 46defense says: Oct 18, 2011 8:27 AM

    Let’s take a page out of the two more successful franchises in the past decade, New England and Green Bay. Which of those teams have a perennial pro-bowler at RB? (Forte has never even made a pro bowl)

    None.

    RB’s today have little value because they can be replaced by someone younger, faster, coachable and less injury prone with few exceptions (Peterson is the only one that comes to my mind).

    20 years ago this was a legit conversation because that was how NFL teams played. Have one workhorse RB, and base your offense around him. He’ll run inside, outside, open up the pass game through play action, etc.

    Times have changed, NE and GB were arguably the two best offenses last year and had dog crap for running games (no offense to Grant, Starks, Woodhead, GreenEllis they’re nice players and do what they are supposed to, but they aren’t going to be a guy that teams base their offense around). It’s a pass happy league now and good teams are recognizing that you just need “a guy” at RB.

  20. canjura says: Oct 18, 2011 8:31 AM

    Shaun Alexander*

  21. dacreedgaming says: Oct 18, 2011 8:32 AM

    Okay ill address it point by point.

    1) Greg olsen is a pansy he can’t block , hes a possession wide reciever who has height , hes slower then the slowest receiver though , he curls up in the fetal position to avoid contact even when he has a 40 pound weight advantage.

    Onto Matt Forte
    2) Matt forte’s job is easy , the majority of his yards , come from teams that are garbage to begin with that miss tackles cause he sure doesn’t break them on the good teams , Matt forte can’t run up the middle and get positive yards to save his life , again only against the crap teams… He doesn’t break tackles , his red zone yards per run , is beyond pathetic , one of the leagues worst among top tier running backs , His blitz pickup is also crap , he’s got cutler killed several times. So why would the Bears give up alot to keep Forte happy , when they wouldn’t do that for Thomas Jones who was twice as strong , and has more longevity they won’t and shouldn’t I see Forte leaving in the very near future, hopefully with Lovie Smith , and Jerry Angelo , not too far behind him…

  22. maddenisfordorks says: Oct 18, 2011 8:42 AM

    Tiki is getting fat

  23. dacreedgaming says: Oct 18, 2011 8:44 AM

    baned0n , the Bears don’t use the Franchise tag because its so costly, it would give Forte 9million upfront , and likely 14million total , Theres absolutely no way in hell the Chicago Bears will franchise Matt Forte , they don’t franchise running backs anyways…

  24. tatatoothy says: Oct 18, 2011 8:46 AM

    I get that pro athletes’ salaries are ridiculous when compared to the rest of society, and I understand that a contract is just that – a contract. But to be fair to Forte, he has consistently produced at least at a top-10 level since his rookie year. To be getting paid $550k/season is truly a slap in his face. Hell, didn’t McGahee get something like $42 million over 6 years when he went to Baltimore?

    Forte is now proving to be one of the dominant RB’s in the game. A big, agile, every down RB. And he’s young. A good front office would have had the foresight to see how good Forte was/is/would be and signed him to an extenstion a year ago.

  25. thehouseofho says: Oct 18, 2011 9:00 AM

    The comparisons between Forte and Chris Johnson are really unfair to Forte. Chris Johnson had two years left on his contract and he held out because he wanted to have those two years voided to get paid more immediately.

    Forte, on the other hand, is in the last year of his contract and wants an extension. He’s made no mention of getting paid more for this season, but he wants his future earnings guaranteed. Granted, he wants to be paid like a top 5 RB, but for future years. It’s obvious that Forte is not holding out and he’s playing for his next contract. Whatever he gets will not be a result of him being Chris Johnson 2.0.

  26. berto55 says: Oct 18, 2011 9:08 AM

    Proof that college football players don’t get a college education (from the article):

    It is believed Forte wanted $8 million per season, a deal less than the five-year, $43 million contract signed by the Panthers’ DeAngelo Williams. The running back received $21 million guaranteed.

    Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said negotiations with Forte are at a standstill as the organization focuses on finishing the season. The Bears could slap Forte with the franchise tag next season at a cost of roughly $8 million.

    “It kind of doesn’t make sense,” Forte said of the tag. “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?”

    Because if you blow your knee out in that one year, they are off the hook….jeez, doesn’t take rocket science to figure this out.

  27. ninjapleazee says: Oct 18, 2011 9:11 AM

    Fire Martz, cut Roy Williams.. Re-sign Forte.

  28. blueintown says: Oct 18, 2011 9:22 AM

    Matt Forte should be preparing to get Thomas Jones’d this offseason. Angelo will ship him out for a fourth round pick, which he will then use on a safety for Lovie to bench.

  29. beardown4me says: Oct 18, 2011 9:26 AM

    Bears will extend Forte at the end of the season. Not a real story but media hype to stir the lack sports news pot! Boring!! Next!!

  30. das14 says: Oct 18, 2011 9:26 AM

    I’m not a bears fan at all. 600k. pff. Nice organization.

  31. cmstrick says: Oct 18, 2011 9:29 AM

    Players that do especially well in contract years should (and do!) raise red flags with owners and GMs all over the league.

    The impression that they’re playing just to get paid and the worry that they’ll throttle down once they do are both usually spot on.

  32. cmstrick says: Oct 18, 2011 9:31 AM

    ninjapleazee said: Oct 18, 2011 9:11 AM

    Fire Martz, cut Roy Williams.. Re-sign Forte.

    —————————————–

    As a Packer fan, I must wholeheartedly disagree with this plan.

  33. Derty Ernie says: Oct 18, 2011 9:35 AM

    The Bears are in a real bind right now. They have told the league they will gladly trade Forte for any other quality player who is not in the news bitching and moaning about something.
    There were no takers.

  34. Derty Ernie says: Oct 18, 2011 9:52 AM

    The NFL should insists on two way performance based incentives. If you meet the set goals you get bonuses and if you fall below certain goals you have money taken out of the contract. Chris Johnson and Albert Haynesworth are examples of owners losing there asses on big deals for players who stop performing to standards but keep the big money.

    The players would scream that if you get injured it would cost you big money and the owners should agree, yes when one gets injured it costs the owners big money too for player not performing on field.

  35. midwestguru says: Oct 18, 2011 9:57 AM

    I am not in favor of paying RBs tons of money. However, in Jerry Angelos infinite wisdom, the Bears do not have a backup RB worth a dang. Its not like were in the Jonathan Stewart/D williams or P Thomas/Ingram scenario. Look how we recently overpaid for Chester Taylor lol. Honestly jsut about all of Jerry’s picks have been so bad that I would rather over pay for a productive (and non convict) player than let Jerry take a shot on drafting another RB when we need Oline sooooooo bad.

    Jerry please sign the man. We can afford to. As long as its performanced based and not top 3 salary.

  36. scudbot says: Oct 18, 2011 10:07 AM

    The -2 yards game against the Packers. Consistently awful around the goal line. Misreads blitzes. These are red flags.

    If the Bears were in the market for a RB and Forte played somewhere else they’d trade away 3 draft picks and some cash to get him. But since he’s already a Bear he can go hang. That’s the Angelo philosophy in a nutshell.

  37. ravensfan4life52 says: Oct 18, 2011 10:14 AM

    @46defense

    The Pats and Packers also have the two best QB’s in the league. The Bears…not so much.

  38. bhindenemylines says: Oct 18, 2011 10:15 AM

    The Cowboys should trade Marty B and a 3rd rounder for Forte immediately. Or something similar.

    Their run game is in shambles this year and Forte would make an instant impact by giving them a strong runner that can take some pressure of of Romo to carry the team on his back the whole time.

    That would only work however if Jason Garrett learns how to call the right plays.

  39. bigjdve says: Oct 18, 2011 10:18 AM

    In any field, people start out at the whim of the companies doing the hiring. The difference is, typically you can leave to get a raise from another company whenever you feel like it.

    Forte has been playing well, so deserves to be paid for what he is doing. However due to the CBA, there are lower contracts all around, so he may or may not get top RB money.

    Offer him an extension that gives him a nice raise for the next few years, a nice signing bonus for the work that he has already done, and make the contract incentive laden so that while he has a nice raise he can have a great raise if he performs.

  40. gpack22 says: Oct 18, 2011 10:32 AM

    As a Packer fan you just have to love that Bears front office. Keep them all intact for yrs to come!!

  41. blueintown says: Oct 18, 2011 3:30 PM

    As an NFL fan, it would be great if Packers fans stopped prefacing every single comment they make with “as a Packer fan..”.

  42. granadafan says: Oct 18, 2011 4:31 PM

    What management has to decide is if Forte is Chris Johnson or Adrian Peterson after they got paid. Is he going stop playing hard ala CJ or will he have pride enough to not get weighed down by the fat wallet ala AD.

  43. Bearfan54 says: Oct 18, 2011 4:50 PM

    Settle down. Forte isn’t going anywhere. The Bears won’t let him go.

  44. dacreedgaming says: Oct 18, 2011 11:24 PM

    Bears won’t resign him the price is going up day by day they wait if they were going to they’d of made a deal already.

    The Bears understand the window of opportunity is this year… Otherwise , you essentially have a defense thats done for… Urlacher , Tillman , Chris Harris (who will soon be traded) , Peppers , are all getting up there in age and they know they’ll have to rebuild , and fix there Offensive line..
    Which to me I think is already shaping up to be a great line with Gabe Carimi coming back soon.

    Every Bears reporter has said on Twitter , newspapers , blogs , that the Bears will not franchise Matt Forte , and the likeliness of a deal getting done diminishes everyday..

    Bears have several good running backs in Marion Barber , Khalil Bell , Marion Barber is the best all around running back they have , he can catch , he can block , he can run the power runs… His age is his only downside… But for a guy who doesn’t demand a huge salary its a homerun to have him as a starter…

  45. gobearskiel says: Oct 20, 2011 12:27 AM

    pay him all ready. we cannot afford to lose half our offence

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