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Bears say their offer to Matt Forte is strong, they want him to sign it

Bears running back Forte is chased by the Detroit Lions in the second half of their NFL football game in Chicago Reuters

Bears coach Lovie Smith has said he’s confident things will turn out just fine with disgruntled running back Matt Forte, and now Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips is chiming in, saying the Bears have already made Forte a strong offer.

Days after Forte complained bitterly that the Bears signed free agent running back Michael Bush but haven’t taken care of the running back they already have yet, Phillips told Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times that the Bears like Forte and want him to stay in Chicago.

“I think not only do we appreciate him and have told him so, but I think the offer we’ve made him shows that, too. Now, different people can disagree on the ultimate value,” Phillips said. “But we feel we’ve made a strong offer to him, and are still hopeful he accepts it.”

Phillips indicated that the Bears have already given Forte the offer they think is fair, and now it’s time for Forte to come around.

“Matt Forte is our No. 1 running back. He’s been told that, and he knows that. We all know that. He’s going to be a Bear for 2012, at least,” Phillips said. “He knows he has a long-term offer on the table, and we hope, at some point and time, he chooses to accept that.”

Forte, however, doesn’t seem inclined to accept what the Bears are offering. This is a contract dispute that could last several months.

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47 Responses to “Bears say their offer to Matt Forte is strong, they want him to sign it”
  1. opinevain says: Mar 26, 2012 7:23 PM

    Apparently, that offer wasn’t to Forte’s liking. And he wants top $ for “one of the best backs in the league”.

  2. cmstrick says: Mar 26, 2012 7:24 PM

    Come to Green Bay, Matt! We know how to treat our players!

  3. chicagosundevil says: Mar 26, 2012 7:26 PM

    Forte needs to lay off the agent advice, ask for one more modest “must” and then sign the contract. $16M guaranteed should do the trick.

  4. bearsfan63 says: Mar 26, 2012 7:30 PM

    I love Matt as our feature back but he wants to be paid Adrian Peterson or Chris Johnson money, sorry as good as he is he’s not at their level nor will he be. He’s a great all around back but he lacks that Home run type ability. He deserves to be paid at around the fifth/sixth best RB salary in the league and that’s about what the Bears are offering. Just sign Matt and prove us wrong. btw whats wrong with a few extra escalators everyone for superb performance like SB MVP?

  5. clayton43 says: Mar 26, 2012 7:39 PM

    I get so sick and tired of Bears fans and media saying… ” Payt the Man” and give Forte what he wants… well I would beg to differ. I would love to know exactly what Chicago’s offer to him was and why he is refusing it. As good of a runner as AP is, it still isnt enough to get his team to the SuperBowl so when your throwing around high dollars especially for a RB, buyer beware. Forte is also good, but the money he appears to want could much better be spent on 2 running backs in the Bush range and a few WR to help out Cutler. RB can be had for for fairly cheap and is so hard to stay healthy…I wouldnt give up too much money on him.. let him walk and plug someone else in.

    Im not knocking or debating his talent, just that the money could be spent elsewhere to help improve the team overall.

  6. chidiehard says: Mar 26, 2012 7:41 PM

    I don’t see Phillips n Co. giving him anything longer than a 3 year deal. Which besides not getting A. Foster type money, is another reason he won’t bite. Dude wants to retire a Bear, he’s been quoted saying so. But if all they want to dish out is 3 years. I don’t know. . . Hopefully he signs, gets over the office beef, racks up 1,000 yards rushing, and can START FINDING THE ENDZONE. Cause if he can’t/won’t, it seems Phil found us a back how will.

  7. sdffa11 says: Mar 26, 2012 7:43 PM

    forte should hold out. the bears have shown no indication they will negotiate fairly and forte held his end of the bargain by playing out his contract.

    now theyre playing the PR game to pressure forte into signing the contract. even if he wants peterson of CJ money, he should be entitled to reach for it because that’s what unrestricted free agency is.

    if the bears aren’t offering at least what deangelo williams got last year, they should stop negotiating. forte is much better than williams and deserves top 5 money.

  8. dfeltz says: Mar 26, 2012 7:54 PM

    Forte is a very good RB, he isn’t elite. When you lead the league in rushing, you can get AP, CJ and Arian Foster type money. The Bears or any other team shouldn’t be subjected to give out bad RB deals like Carolina did with DeAngelo Williams.

  9. canuck54143 says: Mar 26, 2012 8:00 PM

    I’ve been a Bears fan all my life, and love the rb position. There’s nothing better then watching a good line and power back wearing down a defense. With that said the league has changed, and the rules favor qb, and wr’s. You will never win a superbowl running the ball like they did in 1985. Either keep him with tag and pull the long term contract, or trade him during the draft this year while his stock is high. I love Forte but if I had chance to get a critical piece helps build a superbowl championship team I’m all for it.

  10. voiceofsweetness says: Mar 26, 2012 8:05 PM

    “He’s a great all around back but he lacks that Home run type ability”
    Long runs of 50,61,68, & 46 in each of his first 4 yrs. How long do you need your home runs?

    Chris Johnson averaging 4.15 per carry the last 2 yrs.
    Matt Forte averaging 4.75 over last 2 yrs.

    A. P. fierce runner that is a liability in pass protection and receiving hands on third down and has fumbling problems.

    Matt Forte 3 down back that knows how to protect the QB and ball.

    I take Forte and his supposed lack of “homerun type ability” all day.

  11. mungman69 says: Mar 26, 2012 8:09 PM

    Yes, the life of a running back is quite short. They take a pounding and most are done long before they are 30. I don’t know how old Forte is but he is in the same situation as Eagle LeShawn McCoy. I wouldn’t give either more than a 3 year deal. If, after that, they can still play they can sign another contract.

  12. textexington says: Mar 26, 2012 8:12 PM

    21-14. Packers>Bears.LOLZ.

  13. vikingsvoice says: Mar 26, 2012 8:12 PM

    AP’s money is leaving a lot of disgruntled RB’s in it’s wake.

  14. whitecastleisafoodgroup says: Mar 26, 2012 8:15 PM

    I like Forte a lot too but he’s starting to sound like Lance Briggs 2.0.

  15. asw1028 says: Mar 26, 2012 8:29 PM

    People who side with owners in contract disputes need to be catapulted into a volcano. Owners are heartless, greedy pigs who treat players as nothing more than commodities. Owners bully local fans into financing their stadiums under threat of relocation, force them to pay a premium for the right to buy season tickets and then raise the price of those tickets year after year after year.

    Look at the physical and mental health struggles for countless former players and then consider how aggressively NFL owners fought against having to provide health care for those guys who put so much into their pockets.

    Thumbs down this all you want but I never get angry when a player holds out. It’s a cutthroat business and I support them trying to get every single penny they can before they are inevitably kicked to the curb.

  16. briggsisbrokeagain says: Mar 26, 2012 8:33 PM

    You give him 35 million for 5 years with 19 million guaranteed over the first 3 years, after that, if he isn’t as good as he needs to be to earn the rest of his contract, you release him. That’s a little more than Marshawn Lynch and a little less than Foster. If he wants more than that just keep the tag on him this year and either tag him again next year or just let him walk. If he doesn’t sign a long term contract this year then I wouldn’t give it to him next year, he’s 26 right now with a lot of carries on his legs. He’s had 1014 rushing attemps during his career for 4,233 yards and 21 TD’s.

  17. dlmcc1010 says: Mar 26, 2012 9:14 PM

    Forte should not expect to get Foster, CJ, or Peterson type money. I dont know what he is asking for, but my guess is the D’Angelo Williams contract is the problem here for both sides.

  18. voiceofsweetness says: Mar 26, 2012 9:23 PM

    briggsisbrokeagain

    He hit it on the head.
    Love everything about Forte but he has no leverage (Bush signing & Franchise tags) He had lots of carries in college too.
    Forte deserves to be slotted between Lynch and Foster and should just accept the fact that the “Dream Contracts” signed by A.P. and C.J. were terrible decisions and those markets are reset.

  19. mungman69 says: Mar 26, 2012 9:33 PM

    Do the Bears want to win or do they want to save money?

  20. KIR says: Mar 26, 2012 10:28 PM

    @clayton43

    The value you apply to RB’s can be applied to all positions except QB. Question, when is the last time a pro bowl LT was in the Super Bowl. You see that’s how you’re trying to value RB’s. Star running backs are not easily replaceable and are one of the most valuable players on their teams. Forte was 46% of his teams offense. 46%! How easily can you replace

    Adrian Peterson
    Darren McFadden
    LeSean McCoy
    Chris Johnson
    Arian Foster
    Ray Rice
    MJD
    Fred Jackson

  21. fields83 says: Mar 26, 2012 10:36 PM

    Ray rice was taken more than 10 pics later in the same draft as Forte & signed the same franchise tag, yet he’s not crying about money!!!

  22. andyreiddoublecheeseburger says: Mar 26, 2012 10:48 PM

    Maybe the Bears should sell some phony “stock” options to their fans so they can raise the funds to pay Forte.

  23. KIR says: Mar 26, 2012 11:09 PM

    @fields83

    He should! The truth is that McCoy (2 mil) and Forte (3 mil) haven’t made any real money. Take out taxes, agent fees it’s less than a mil.

    Every non 1st round rookie superstar really has no choice other than to holdout/cause problems the last year of his contract. 600K last year and he almost had a career ending injury.

  24. voiceofsweetness says: Mar 26, 2012 11:13 PM

    “Ray rice was taken more than 10 pics later in the same draft as Forte & signed the same franchise tag, yet he’s not crying about money!”

    Rice hasn’t signed his tag yet and the owner has admitted he’s not sure if Rice will hold out or not so get your facts straight first.

    “It’s realistic in the sense that other players do it. It’s not too realistic in the sense that, the kind of young man that Ray is,” Bisciotti told the Baltimore Sun at the owners meetings. “This is all up to his agent’s strategy, but Ray is not the kind of guy that, I think, needs to pursue that angle.”

  25. howardforvezina says: Mar 26, 2012 11:20 PM

    Pay the man(Lions fan)

  26. fields83 says: Mar 26, 2012 11:36 PM

    @KIR Forte is in the 2nd largest market behind New York too. If he wants $ he should use his status, keep his mouth shut, & be a savvy business man! Small market players are at a disadvantage & don’t complain.

    I have a feeling he’s getting a legit offer, but he’s made it personal & now he wants to be paid more than the market dictates. The Vikings overpaid for Peterson & he probably thinks he should get that kind of money. It’s sad as a fan.

  27. clayton43 says: Mar 27, 2012 1:12 AM

    Someone made point of stating that Forte should hold out because he played last year and almost had a career ending knee injury… SO I guess to me that means.. yes hold out and make the Bears pay you so when you do get hurt, the team is out the millions and not you. I normally do side with owners over money… is thier money and RB position is really a tough one to call..name the last HIGH PAID RB that has carried his team to SuperBowl and won because of that player ??

    Bradshaw
    Starks
    Parker
    Bettis ( 1 million that year)
    P. thomas
    D Rhodes

    The last RB that was a high profile RB that was paid at the top of all RBs that I can remember was poss Faulk becak in 2000. Beofre him
    T Davis who wasnt making alot of money at that time won a few in a row… So again, Give me a pretty good QB and some decent WR and a defense anytime…. spend the money elsewhere if you want to be more that just a team that gets to the playoffs…

  28. lilmiddle78 says: Mar 27, 2012 1:45 AM

    *** canuck54143***

    I think you’re right to an extent.. This is More of a passing league than it ever has been in the past! But seriously, guys are regurgitating the same sentences that they’ve heard on the 4 letter network and it sounds like “we don’t even need the RB position anymore, let alone a great one”!! BALANCE is always going to be the best offensive outcome, otherwise you are the definition of the term one dimensional!!

    But the league is very pass happy right now, that would make me want to lock up the LEAGUE’S BEST RECEIVING RB!!! He has led the team in many receiving categories more than once!!

  29. lilmiddle78 says: Mar 27, 2012 1:55 AM

    *** bearsfan63 ***

    Forte has a Ton of “HomeRun type ability”!! Wether he’s taking a screen pass for 89 yards against the lions or a 5 yard out for like 70 against the Falcons, he can take a short route and make paydirt at any time! He has fewer “HomeRuns” from hand offs but the Bucs & Panthers saw the double duece get loose last year! And it seems like he’s always good for a couple 40 yard runs when they start feeding him the rock!!

    Matt, let’s tattoo that GSH on your arm my man!! We can go together, I’ll get one too!!

  30. lilmiddle78 says: Mar 27, 2012 2:08 AM

    *** voiceofsweetness ***

    Thank you!!! The man can score on any play, and he doesn’t need huge holes to do it either!! He can take monster hits at the 2nd or 3rd level and literally bounce right off of them! He has played his entire career (college & pro) as the work horse, and last season he finally got injured for the first time.. He will be on the field every down, every week and his ability can only be matched by combining 2 or 3 other guys..

  31. clayton43 says: Mar 27, 2012 3:08 AM

    @ KIR..

    Again, I am not argueing with any of those players talents… just on how much do you pay a RB at the expense of other positions. Giving a RB alot of money means you are cut short elsewhere and in my opinion you can get a valuable RB at a low price. None of those RB’s you mentioned have won or been to a Superbowl.
    I am a Steelers fan and in general, we are not happy with just getting to the playoffs or having a winning record…Most Steelers fans I know at the start of the season expect our team to have a shot at the end of the year to win it all, even though we know is not realistic. All of those RB’s are very good and no dispute, I just dont think the way to go in todays NFL is to put alot of money at that position and if your running your offense close to 50 percent on one guy then chances are your team is going to be mediocre on a yearly basis and maybe that money you saved can be spred around elsewhere to make the team as a whole better moreso than just one position.

  32. wozzmann1955 says: Mar 27, 2012 3:55 AM

    andyreiddoublecheeseburger says: Mar 26, 2012 10:48 PM

    Maybe the Bears should sell some phony “stock” options to their fans so they can raise the funds to pay Forte.
    ====================================
    You Sir obviously Smoke Alot of Richard

  33. 1historian says: Mar 27, 2012 5:58 AM

    I know what ‘disgruntled’ means, but I have asked many times and to date no one has answered me – what does it mean simply to be ‘gruntled’?

  34. beefbus says: Mar 27, 2012 9:50 AM

    Paying “top” dollar to RBs in today’s NFL is a recipe for losing. Look at the all the top teams. The Ravens are the only team with a boatload of money invested in their starting RB, and that was just signed. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them miss the playoffs this season. As good as Forte’s been, he’s not even in the top-5 the past few years in yardage. Elite he is not.

  35. bullitts says: Mar 27, 2012 10:44 AM

    1) Adrian Peterson – 7 yr – $96 million ($36 million Guaranteed — $13.7 million/yr avg)
    2) Chris Johnson – 6 yr -$55 million ($30 million guaranteed — $9.2 million/yr avg)
    6) Arian Foster – 5 yr $43 million $8.7 million/yr avg)

    So Bears should offer FORTE either:

    6 yr – $63 million ($20 – 25 million guaranteed – $10.5 million/yr avg)

    That should make him # 2 highest paid RB, locked up for 6 years, and very, very happy… No more Twitter rants!

  36. rueg10 says: Mar 27, 2012 2:02 PM

    i like forte, and i want him here to a long term deal, with the right structure. i can’t say forte is elite, but he is very good, and one of the better rb receivers in the game. it’s also notable that he ran behind a very suspect o-line, and his goal line opportunities were limited by the coaches.

    if i hear any more of this let forte go chase the money because micheal bush can be our every down back, i’m going to come through the computer and kick someone in the head. bush hasn’t proven himself as an every down back… sign forte please. we need to show the league that we can take care of our own.

  37. voiceofsweetness says: Mar 27, 2012 5:46 PM

    Forte has to realize that he is also hurt a great deal from a leverage perspective by the type of player and person he seems to be. He came from a smaller University and is a very soft spoken and humble player with the media. Things I love as a fan.
    Adrian Peterson has been a rockstar of sorts since college and came on the scene so strong with Madden covers and Jersey sales.
    Chris Johnson with his record 40 time and brash talk “The goal is 2,500 so I am going to stick to that. I feel like it is very realistic. People didn’t think 2,000 was realistic when I set the goal last year and I made a lot of people believers, so I am going to stick to that.”
    It’s too bad that a club has to use the marketability of the players as much or more than the quality perhaps.

  38. jutts says: Mar 27, 2012 8:20 PM

    Maybe Forte should tweet more…… What ever the Bears offered he should take. He already lost over 5 million from last year. His agent should be fired. Unless his agent has got enough money to recoupe the losses Forte has already incurred. I thought Forte had more sense than that.

  39. parshooter35 says: Mar 28, 2012 2:15 PM

    I can see it both ways. Personally I’d pay him. I know they’re not gonna offer any more though. Chicago will let him walk. If he does then they’ll have lost a great RB. Chicago isn’t going to gamble $ on a RB. He could get hurt very easily. Just watch. Chicago will hold out. Matt….take the offer. I don’t want to see you playing elsewhere.

  40. larryboodry says: Mar 28, 2012 2:16 PM

    @textexington:

    Here’s one for ya, and this one’s true…

    Giants 37, Packers 20…Ha…ha…ha!

    Damn, that felt good…Go Bears!

  41. voiceofsweetness says: Mar 28, 2012 10:41 PM

    Any way he looks at it they have his rights for 2 yrs to use him how they please. No way possible he holds out during the season if you have ever seen him play. He certainly has the passion for the game.
    Worst case as a bears fan is we use the heck out of him for 2 more years and have his replacement drafted in the next 2 drafts to compliment Bush.

    Bush + 2 yrs. of Franchise = 0 leverage for Forte.

    And I love everything about him for the record.

  42. voiceofsweetness says: Mar 28, 2012 10:45 PM

    Kalil Bell may be one heck of a all around back too if he learns to protect the ball better.

  43. lilmiddle78 says: Mar 29, 2012 12:35 AM

    *** Bullitts ***

    I like your breakdown of the numbers at the RB position! That type of long term deal with a nice guaranteed amount should be exactly what Forte is after! $10.5 mil per year slots him right where he should be among his peers.. I can’t help but think that if the Bears were offering a similar deal, he would sign it & feel good about it.. If they are offering that type of deal and he is still making this kind of stink about it then I would have to say “Matt, please stop being greedy & sign the contract”!! We need you Matt, and you will end your career as one of the greatest we’ve ever had!! Right beside Gayle & Walter were you will belong!! Let’s make it happen fellas!!!!!

  44. lilmiddle78 says: Mar 29, 2012 12:41 AM

    I’m a little dissapointed that the franchise tag survived this lockout on the new CBA!! It really was created to benefit the player & the owner, but until the parameters are modified, it will continue to be abused by the owners. No player in this entire league is truly okay with being franchised at this point!!

  45. dmack25 says: Mar 30, 2012 12:03 PM

    This is absolutely insane! I am a born and raised diehard Bears fan, but just look at the numbers people are throwing around. Matt Forte has made more money in his 4-year career, then I will make throughout my entire life, and that is at a salary close to the league minimum. I am a teacher in the public school system…It will take me ten years to make what he has made in one. I am an educator, and he is an ENTERTAINER, he does nothing to help progress mankind, in fact he does the opposite, he halts our productivity for atleast 3 hours a week, 16 weeks out of the year. So I am sorry if I have no sympathy for the guy, We are talking about millions of dollars! And what will he do with it? Cure cancer, give it to a children’s hospital, Hell No!!! He’s going to buy a 4 million dollar house and 6 sports cars. Stop being a cry baby, look at the big picture and take what they offer you!

  46. lilmiddle78 says: Mar 31, 2012 12:58 AM

    *** dmack25***

    First of all Thank You for doing a job that most of us could not stand to do or simply are too greedy to do!! You don’t teach my kids but I’m sure you touch the lives of a handful each year and they will never forget you for it, like a great coach!!

    Now lets just say that your school district had a different pay scale for each subject and your students performance would dictate where you fall on that scale. If you had the best results for several years running and your students & their parents all spoke highly of you, you would expect to be paid what you’re worth. Not because you’re unhappy with what you make, but because you’ve earned the higher spot on the scale. Your principal & superintendent say they are gonna get you bumped up the scale but action is not taken, more than once you remind them of the grades you’ve produced and you’re told to take it easy, “we’ll get your raise put thru soon”. Now you’re upset because your boss whom you admire & look up to seems to be lying to you! This morning you came in early as usual to find out that you didn’t get your raise, others are getting their raises around the distric and right here in your very school. But you won’t be getting yours, they’re gonna chip you off a little bonus for being a good sport about it but the truth is that they have found a small loophole and discovered they don’t have to pay you by that same scale that the others are being paid and that you worked hard to achieve. In fact, they found out that they can string you along like this for 2 years if they so choose, at which point they will reassess your performance and determine wether they want to keep you on..

    What a nightmare!!! You didn’t think that you were underpaid until they showed you what the teachers at the other district schools were making and based on their performance which did not exceed your own!! Don’t you want to be paid what you’re worth? It’s not even your own assessment of your worth, it’s their set of standards for determining your value as a teacher and other teachers are not as successful, diligent or committed as you are but they are making what you should be making..

    We all want to be dealt what we’ve earned! If someone else does it better than me, I hope they’re fortunate enough to make more money than me too!

  47. jnyce714 says: Apr 7, 2012 11:02 AM

    The problem is the game has changed from 5 yrs ago when Matt came out of college. He was 22. Now he is 28 going into his 6yr. The fact he is still in the league is outstanding. The problem is the bears view and the league views his shelf life is 3 more years at best. Matt will not get a 5 yr deal 4 yr offer is stretching is. If he is getting a 4yr offer it should be in the neighborhood of 30-32 mill. with the years looking like 9/10- 8, 8, 5/6 per year. garunteed for making the roster/injury only. TO protect the team and Matt. The days are over for RBs lasting 10-15yrs like they use to. Emmitt Smith’s rushing record may last longer than Payton’s record did. It’s just the way GM’s view the process.

    Going forward If I’m a RB in college and I’m coming out the 1st chance I can get if I’m NFL material. Why wait till your 22? leave at 20 and get 2 extra years in the pros and maybe get a shot on a team who has an aging back and then take over. sign shorter term deals. It’s forte’s & his agents fault for signing a 5 year deal as a 2nd rd pick as a RUNNING BACK! Lineman is one thing.

    But if the deal is 3-4 years and is under 8mill per I wouldn’t sign it either. People act like he had a serious injury and he is injury prone. he played one year thru torn meniscus (which is easily repairable and treatable) then he had a Grade 2 MCL sprain. There was no ACL tears, durability issues at all. he needs and OLINE to open holes for him consistantly and given the ball 20+ times on the ground.

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