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Lovie Smith on Matt Forte: “It’s going to work out fine”

Bears running back Forte is brought down by Chargers' Gregory in the first half of their NFL football game in Chicago Reuters

Bears running back Matt Forte was already unhappy with his contract last season, then grew more unhappy when the Bears slapped the franchise tag on him, and then reached a boiling point when the Bears signed running back Michael Bush. But Bears coach Lovie Smith says Forte will be a happy camper by the time the season starts.

Smith told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that he has spoken to Forte since the Bush signing and that he’s confident Forte will be a productive member of the Bears’ offense this season.

We love him, he’s going to rush for a lot of yards for us,” Smith said. “It’s going to work out fine.”

But Forte hasn’t felt the love yet. Before he was hurt last year he was one of the best running backs in the NFL, and he wants to get paid like one of the best running backs in the NFL. So far the Bears haven’t seem inclined to do that.

And the reality is the Bears don’t have to do that. Smith’s feeling that it’s going to work out fine may stem from the twin realities in the NFL that franchise players just don’t have a lot of leverage, and that teams just don’t seem interested in offering big contracts to running backs. Smith is probably right that it’s going to work out fine from the Bears’ perspective. It seems less likely that Forte will be fine with whatever he ends up making this season.

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29 Responses to “Lovie Smith on Matt Forte: “It’s going to work out fine””
  1. woodg8 says: Mar 25, 2012 3:24 PM

    Oh noes, poor Matt Forte is only going to make close to $8m this year, cry me a river

  2. brennankm46 says: Mar 25, 2012 3:25 PM

    Say what you will about Lovie’s game management and in-game decision making. I don’t know that he has ever lost a locker room.

    His players love him, and that’s why Bears fans shouldn’t be worried about Marshall’s presumed “baggage” or the Forte drama.

  3. cali49er707 says: Mar 25, 2012 3:34 PM

    of course it is LOVIE, its easy for you to say after you just recently re-did your contract!!!

  4. aaroncurryisbust says: Mar 25, 2012 3:34 PM

    Fatt Morte is overrated trash.

  5. aaroncurryisbust says: Mar 25, 2012 3:34 PM

    Last season was only his second with a YPC over 4.

  6. troybulletinboard says: Mar 25, 2012 3:38 PM

    Forte is a good back, and while he does DESERVE a new contract, he really should stop with the circus of trying to get paid. Just ball or holdout, decide. But going off on Twitter because the Bears signed a good BACKUP is ridiculous. How about 5 years $40M with $20M guaranteed. Make this man happy, we all know cap numbers can be twisted any which way the team wants them to. Run the guaranteed #s upfront so it won’t matter if he falls off in 3 years.

  7. maddbearfan says: Mar 25, 2012 3:39 PM

    Guess 7.4 million isn’t enuf….be better than nuthin. I’d take the 7.4 and wait.

  8. trbowman says: Mar 25, 2012 3:42 PM

    I applaud the Bears. RBs are easily replaceable.

  9. earlyjk54 says: Mar 25, 2012 3:47 PM

    Not a big market for 25-30 carry backs anymore. Forte should just shut up and play.

  10. dobberdubinsky says: Mar 25, 2012 3:57 PM

    Forte looks to be on the way out after this year. I don’t believe Lovie when he says Forte will be happy by the start of the year. With Bush and Bell in the mix, Forte is expendable and will be next year.

  11. babyhorsemorgan says: Mar 25, 2012 3:59 PM

    “Everything will be just Lovie.”.

  12. rueg10 says: Mar 25, 2012 4:12 PM

    I’m a bears fan, and no matter what the market or rb’s is now, Forte does deserve a little more respect than he is getting. Yea he is getting a big raise with the tag and deserves that too… Look at the o line he had the last few years! He is not going to get Adrian Peterson money, but like someone else said, he needs to be locked in for a few years at the right market price as a valuable part of the offense. Michael Bush hasn’t shown that he can be an every down back so there is no reason in my mind that we would risk losing Forte!!!

  13. KIR says: Mar 25, 2012 4:17 PM

    Forte was 46% of the bears offense and the truth is Forte hasn’t made any real money (3 mil) in 4 years! Take out taxes, agent fees it’s less than a mil. Every non 1st round rookie STAR really has no choice other than to holdout complain the last year of his contract. Look what the Bears are doing. 600K his last year and he almost had a career ending injury.

    They’ve had 4 backups and none have been productive. I wonder why? Bush is a solid back, but he has never had to carry the load. When he was the stater he averaged fewer than 3.6 yards per carry in six of the final seven games with one carry longer than 15 yards and three rushing scores.

  14. KIR says: Mar 25, 2012 4:19 PM

    When is the last time a pro bowl LT was in the Super Bowl. Do you see how ridiculous a question it is? That’s how you all want to judge running backs

  15. bcstarks13 says: Mar 25, 2012 4:21 PM

    I wish Emery would just trade Forte because they’re too stupid to realize how talented is.

  16. sdwat54 says: Mar 25, 2012 4:21 PM

    @brennankm46:

    Best, most reasoned post on the Forte issue I’ved read in 2 seasons.

  17. cap1378 says: Mar 25, 2012 4:27 PM

    I’ve had enough of this story. Pay him already and stop being cheap

  18. philtration says: Mar 25, 2012 4:29 PM

    Forte has over played his hand in this.
    He could have taken the big guaranteed money but he wanted more.
    He risked getting hurt while playing for his rookie contract money and it happened.
    He is going to be paid almost $8 million for one year and he feels insulted?
    That is an insult to the thousands of fans that give up their hard earned cash to sit in the cold and watch him play.

    The Bears can use more help on the O line and at WR.
    Just because a couple of other teams over paid for their RBs does not mean that the Bears have to follow them down the road to stupidly.

  19. voiceofsweetness says: Mar 25, 2012 4:56 PM

    Anyone one on here trashing Forte that is not a Bears fan. Name me one Bears offensive lineman over the last 2-3 years not named Kruetz or Garza. Forte just got a watered down version of a hall of fame player in Kruetz and I probably just gave ya Garza.
    Forte has done more behind far less than any back in the league bar non.
    He does deserve to get taken care of because he does it the right way and is a smart player that would know to get out of bounds Marion Barber. He also needs to realize the contracts A.P. (which Forte is more complete than) or C.J. have already proven to be foolish contracts in this league.
    Forte’s biggest weakness is short yardage and TD’s. They go hand in hand in a sense. Again name me that lineman.

  20. rockbottom37 says: Mar 25, 2012 4:56 PM

    This should be a Hot seat year for Lovie Smith!

  21. duhbears says: Mar 25, 2012 5:10 PM

    I think the rookie contracts should be larger (or better) for running back. As it stands, you sign them for four years at insanely low pay. Why not just ride ‘em for those 4 years and re-draft?

  22. ernie ernie says: Mar 25, 2012 5:14 PM

    I’m very optomistic that Forte will indeed be another pain in the Bears arse this year. He didn’t get the big money he wanted and now he has some more competition.
    He clearly understands that if he has a great year without injury he will get the big bucks but the backside, if he gets injured or has a so so year, the bears can just as easily dump him too.

  23. eaglesw00t says: Mar 25, 2012 5:38 PM

    Forte is a baby. You signed a contract. Now you’re franchised. You don’t have any legal options. Not keeping your mouth shut is going to cost your butt money.

  24. akd1287 says: Mar 25, 2012 6:27 PM

    Pay the man! He’s the best all-around back in football right after Foster.

  25. whitecastleisafoodgroup says: Mar 25, 2012 10:14 PM

    I didn’t realize there were more than one lineman with the name of Kreutz or Garza ;)

    One item I agree with that poster is that the Peterson and Johnson contracts were just way too much and I would go further that we will (should) never see a contract like either of those for an RB again.

    Forte is awesome, all around back. 3 years, $25 M is the max he should get paid which is a little over what he’d sign as a franchised player. Even guarantee $15. But no more than 3 years.

    If not, NEXT! That’s the way it is these days and it doesn’t matter who your linemen are. It’s a business. Being respected has jack crap to do with it.

  26. mendenhallfumblemachine says: Mar 25, 2012 11:46 PM

    Akd1287 there is this guy name: Lesean McCoy….

  27. johnnyru131 says: Mar 26, 2012 1:11 AM

    Marion Barber rushed for over 100 yards on the Broncos. Bell rushed for over 120 yards against the Packers. So even the 2nd and 3rd stringers looked good somehow with this crappy OLine. So if they can do it, stop acting like what Forte does is so special, because he’s not the only one who has good games with this so called crappy OLine.

  28. lilmiddle78 says: Mar 26, 2012 2:05 AM

    The main reason that I stand firmly in Forte’s corner on this issue (aside from the FACT that he is a stud in any formation who makes the offense eat up yardage yet can be a homerun guy at any moment), is that the Bears have been stringing him along for 3 years now!!

    They never said “you signed the deal, now play out your contract”! Every year the Bears brass has stated “we are gonna work hard to get a deal done that will benefit both sides and make Matt a Bear for the long haul”!! Each game, each year he got better & better and that price should go up. If they had signed him to a good extension 2 years ago, they would have an elite back for a real bargain and their top offensive player would be happy with the front office!! He has said for a year and a half now that the franchise tag is not his idea of a solution but just a way for the team to put it off even longer.. In a few short years we will be talking about his HOF likelihood!! PAY THE MAN!!!

  29. lilmiddle78 says: Mar 26, 2012 2:16 AM

    ****aaroncurryisbust*****

    As much as I want to respect your sports opinion, :-@ you’re making it pretty hard to do so!! I would love it if you could find just one Player or Coach in the NFL past or present who thinks that Forte is overrated in any way, shape or form.!.!.! For that matter find even one who would say that the man is asking for more than he’s PROVEN he’s worth!.!.!.!

    Come on now!! You don’t really believe that dung you’re typing right?? You’re just trying to get a reaction out of everyone right?? Well, mission accomplished, I guess!!
    But if you really do believe that scat then I guess you’re just still learning about football and we should all give you a break..

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