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Bears have doubts that Matt Forte’s knees can hold up

Matt Forte AP

The Bears’ reluctance to offer a lucrative long-term contract to Matt Forte stems in part from concerns that his knees won’t allow him to remain an upper-echelon NFL running back for much longer.

The wear and tear Forte took during a college career at Tulane in which he had nearly 1,000 touches was a concern entering the 2008 NFL draft, and a source told David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune that with more than 1,200 touches under his belt in the NFL, the Bears wonder how long Forte’s knees will hold up.

Forte’s knee injuries include a torn posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in 2006, a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee in 2009 and a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee in 2011. The Bears may be concerned about the possibility of arthritis becoming a problem for Forte.

Although he’s only 26 years old and was having a great season when he got injured in the 12th game last year, the Bears have shown very little interest in signing Forte to anything other than the one-year franchise tender. The reality for NFL running backs is that teams toss them aside once they’re used up, and the Bears may think Forte’s knees are close to used up.

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55 Responses to “Bears have doubts that Matt Forte’s knees can hold up”
  1. digital muscles says: May 26, 2012 5:36 PM

    Then trade him while you can…he isn’t signing anything thats not long term at the “right” money, but is Bush the answer?

  2. jdandcoke says: May 26, 2012 5:39 PM

    this has been the way the NFL has been for a few years now. passing league, multi-player backfields, undrafted FA’s becoming 1000 yard rushers…..teams would have to be crazy to invest big money in a RB, especially one with a serious injury history.

  3. hus10188 says: May 26, 2012 5:42 PM

    Although he’s a stud, you gotta say the Bears wait and see approach is a really smart idea. They got Bush anyway, and with the QB and weapons they have, they aren’t reliant on him as other teams are in their newly locked up RBs. It just seems like a smart logical business move (not said to often in recent years for the Bear) to see how Forte returns back from the injury before throwing money at him.

  4. morgan420 says: May 26, 2012 5:46 PM

    Nice loyalty

  5. gweez76 says: May 26, 2012 5:49 PM

    Just do the minimum you have to. Protect yourself no matter the cost to the Bears.

    They commit as little as they can to you?

    Return the favor. Have a beer for me brah.

  6. botchedextrapoint says: May 26, 2012 5:49 PM

    Makes good business sense but that doesn’t make it right.

  7. Deb says: May 26, 2012 6:26 PM

    I’m watching someone suffer horribly with knee issues and surgery isn’t an option. If only medical science could come up with a safe, injectable, nonsurgical solution for strengthening and rebuilding those ligaments.

    But if they did, I’m sure the NFL would ban it.

  8. wilddeuce03 says: May 26, 2012 6:28 PM

    Sure, smart business by the Bears, but, they sure worked he heck outta him under that rookie contract. Now all of a sudden they are worried about his knees when he’s trying to get paid?! This is exactly why I don’t blame players trying to squeeze every dime out of an organization they can. Because the first chance they get they’ll kick you to the curb. And this is only going to be worse now with the new rookie wage scale. Guys will get worked and produce and then when it’s time for a new big money contract the orgs will be “worried” about injury to justify lowballing.

  9. jdandcoke says: May 26, 2012 6:29 PM

    botchedextrapoint says:

    Makes good business sense but that doesn’t make it right.

    lol….i make pretty decent money….and it would take me close to 65 years at my current salary to make what forte will make in 2012.
    lets calm down with how “wrong” making 7.7 mill for one year of work is.

  10. periferal26 says: May 26, 2012 6:30 PM

    Since when does “right” have anything to do with what goes on in professional sports (and the world)?

    If I ran any company and thought an employee only could produce for me one more year guess what kind of contract he’s getting from me? A one year one that’s what.

    I’m not a Bears fan and happen to like Forte a lot, but the truth is that RB’s are not valued like they used to be.

    In fact the Browns might have gotten the best player in the draft this year, and I’m not sure it was the right pick. In this day an age you draft from the lines out and Trent Richardson might already have too much tread on his tires a few years from now if the Browns actually build a team that can compete.

    I hope Forte can get a contract from some team to pay him for all he’s done and can do, but I also respect the Bears for making a judgment that he’s not worth the risk.

  11. gridassassin says: May 26, 2012 6:32 PM

    They cant trade him because they don’t have him under contract. He’ll sign his one year deal towards the end of camp. No long term extensions can be signed by Franchise Tagged players after July 15th.

  12. bloozmann says: May 26, 2012 6:42 PM

    Forte was offered a nice deal last year and he passed…Hurt himself if ya ask me

  13. hedleykow says: May 26, 2012 6:52 PM

    Who needs running backs? The new rules dictate that receivers must be allowed to catch the ball, and only after they have established full control of the catch and are running for positive yardage are defensive backs permitted to tackle them. Running backs are so yesterday.

    Check out how many passing records were smashed last year. Why run the ball?

  14. scytherius says: May 26, 2012 6:58 PM

    jdandcoke says:
    May 26, 2012 6:29 PM
    botchedextrapoint says:

    Makes good business sense but that doesn’t make it right.

    lol….i make pretty decent money….and it would take me close to 65 years at my current salary to make what forte will make in 2012.
    lets calm down with how “wrong” making 7.7 mill for one year of work is.

    ============================

    Seriously? You are comparing what you do with what these guys do? You are fungible … as interchangeable aaas a flashlight battery. These guys, literally, put their lives and health on the line. They also make BILLIONS for management. And you? Yeah. Thought not.

    So truck on back to fungibility and leave economics to the grown ups.

  15. beefbus says: May 26, 2012 6:59 PM

    “Although he’s only 26 years old and was having a great season when he got injured in the 12th game last year, the Bears have shown very little interest in signing Forte to anything other than the one-year franchise tender.”

    There’s nothing remotely accurate about this statement. The Bears are VERY interested, but Matt thinks he’s an elite runner and wants ELITE money. More so than McCoy, which is ridiculous cause he has a lot more wear, plus he’s two years older.

  16. trevor123698 says: May 26, 2012 7:01 PM

    @Deb

    You should look into cartilage of any type. 4-5 tablespoons of Knox Gelatin (easy to find on amazon) Combined with Youngevity Plant derived Colloidal Minerals and you will be regrowing your cartilage within months and that person will be experiencin miracles with their knees. A doctor taught me this. most doctors are morons though and Dr Joel Wallach’s “Dead Doctors Don’t Lie” proves this

  17. bearsfan4life says: May 26, 2012 7:16 PM

    lol….i make pretty decent money….and it would take me close to 65 years at my current salary to make what forte will make in 2012. lets calm down with how “wrong” making 7.7 mill for one year of work is.

    —————————————————————

    Its a false comparison. How many people did your company bring in to do your job that were paid 5 or 10 times as much as you make only to see them quit or get fired before the next year started?
    You show them nothing but loyalty only to be lied about and undermined.
    You produce the most of anyone in your company and of the other 31 companies that do what yours does, only 2 or 3 other employees produce at a rate like you.
    You’ve missed 4 days of work in 4 years and worked while you were sick for a year.
    Your company would have failed without your services.

  18. jimmysee says: May 26, 2012 7:17 PM

    Bears made him a nice offer and he passed.

    It does take two to make a deal.

  19. akd1287 says: May 26, 2012 7:23 PM

    That’s business. My company doesn’t care what I’ve done in the past for them. They keep me around because I continue to do it. I would be out of the door too if I couldn’t.

  20. jdandcoke says: May 26, 2012 7:25 PM

    scytherius says:

    Seriously? You are comparing what you do with what these guys do? You are fungible … as interchangeable aaas a flashlight battery. These guys, literally, put their lives and health on the line. They also make BILLIONS for management. And you? Yeah. Thought not.

    So truck on back to fungibility and leave economics to the grown ups.

    two things clown…..i didnt say what it was that i do for a living….many would say that what i do is much more dangerous than playing football.

    secondly, the guy is going to make almost 8 mill this year..even in the NFL thats a damm nice salary.

    this wasnt about comparing me and an nfl football player…..its about me saying that a football player making 8 mill for one year’s work isnt someone to feel sorry for.

    instead of looking to start a fight over absolutely nothing at all, try and use your head a little. saying there is something wrong with a RB “ONLY” making 8 mill is just stupid. the guy broke his butt during his rookie contract and now he’s cashing in….and thats not even counting what he’ll make after next season. you morons need to understand just how much 8 mill actually is…..you act as if the bears dont commit 50 mill or more to him he’ll have to go on welfare or something. give me break already.

  21. jacksaysfu says: May 26, 2012 7:29 PM

    That’s a straight cop out by the Bears . Shady may be 3 years younger , but McCoy’s had ALOT of touches too . Offer
    Forte a contract comparable to Arian Fosters . Not as much as Lesean cause Shady is only 23 , & just a little less then Foster cause he hasn’t been as productive . So Chicago needs to offer Forte a deal JUST under those two players . Imo Shady,Foster,& Forte are pretty close in talent … PAY THE MAN !

  22. footballfan84 says: May 26, 2012 7:33 PM

    Why dont you just go ahead and release him then. You know big play Michael Bush will solve your answers. Might as well pick up Ryan Grant while your at it. I also hear Ahman Green wants to return to the NFL, why dont you try making him an offer? SIKE!

  23. furtigan says: May 26, 2012 7:33 PM

    Seriously? You are comparing what you do with what these guys do? You are fungible … as interchangeable aaas a flashlight battery. These guys, literally, put their lives and health on the line.

    Got news for ya champ … football players are fungible, too. That’s what the replacement games in 1987 proved. NFL ratings didn’t drop when Brady and Manning missed seasons, and the NFL will keep making money long after Matt Forte is gone.

  24. illiniftw says: May 26, 2012 7:40 PM

    I think it’s funny how everyone is acting like the Bears are kicking him to the curb. They made several attempts to offer him an extension at what they think he is worth. He thinks he is worth more which is his right. Now the Bears are exercising their right to keep a productive employee under contract using the guidelines Forte’s union agreed to.

  25. dobberdubinsky says: May 26, 2012 7:41 PM

    Bears are making the right decision by not offering MF a huge deal. Forte is good player but is replaceable. This year will be his last as a Bear.

  26. bullcharger says: May 26, 2012 7:59 PM

    The Bears screwed this guy. They ran him into the dirt because it was the only offense they had and now they won’t pay him. Treating a player like that is exactly why players hold out. Playing hard near the end of a contract doesn’t necessarity get a guy paid.

  27. steveromanko says: May 26, 2012 8:12 PM

    I’ll tell ya what bears, straight up trade. Mendenhall and Mike Wallace for Forte and a second round pick.

  28. 3milelyle says: May 26, 2012 8:16 PM

    Don’t sign forte but let’s sign bush? Bush has as many carries in his career as forte and is older with serious knee issues in his past as well. Another blunder by the fo imo.

  29. racksie says: May 26, 2012 8:20 PM

    Average tenure of a running back in the NFL? 3-5 years. That has held true for about 40 years. Pretty simple really.

  30. jutts says: May 26, 2012 8:40 PM

    Forte has been offered a more than fair contract. His agent is a db.. He should have been making good money last year. His agent is the same clown that reps MJD… who wants more money, and Ray Rice who also wants more money. These players should all get a clue. Their agent sucks. Period.

  31. captainwisdom8888 says: May 26, 2012 8:48 PM

    The Bears were continuously assuring this young guy that if he did what he was told and kept putting in the work, that they would give him the long-term contract he wanted and deserved. All the while…they’ve been running him into the ground.

    Now, the wear and tear is starting to show. Despite the massive contribution Forte has made, as well as the classy,professional manner in which he has handled this situation for years, it doesn’t look as if the Bears are going to hold up their end of the bargain. Stay Classy Chicago!

  32. philtration says: May 26, 2012 8:53 PM

    gweez76 says: May 26, 2012 5:49 PM

    Just do the minimum you have to. Protect yourself no matter the cost to the Bears.

    They commit as little as they can to you?

    Return the favor. Have a beer for me brah.
    ===================================

    That will get you rounding up shopping carts at Wal-Mart.

  33. beefbus says: May 26, 2012 8:53 PM

    Teams pay for future production, not past production. You don’t become a successful franchise by “repaying debts” to a good player. 7.7 million is plenty of repayment in my opinion. Why did the NFLPA agree to the new CBA that contains the franchise tag?

  34. backinblack67 says: May 26, 2012 9:15 PM

    Mike Bush was gonna take his job anyways…bad knees or not

  35. pdillon1 says: May 26, 2012 9:43 PM

    So let me get this straight.. In the first week of OTAs a reportjust happens to leak about all the various knee injuries of a 26 year old runningback who before last season managed to start in every game as a pro. Then in the one season where he was injured on the field was still good enough to make a probowl? How convenient.

    Good thing the 49ers didn’t sign their actual injury prone, older running back to a long term contract. They would have never got to the NFC Champ game with that Frank Gore dude.

    Bears ran this dude into the ground while he was on a 2nd round contract and now that it’s time to pay the guy because he exceeded their own expectations, they want to act like he’s coming off an ACL or something…Whatever.

  36. dreday1201 says: May 26, 2012 9:46 PM

    Just plain dumb all those first round picks in the past spent on RB; now we have a stud,pro bowl RB. And all you fools willing to toss him away remember Cedric benson. Can’t be real Chicago Bears fans

  37. jbcommonsense says: May 26, 2012 9:50 PM

    This a lousy backstabbing attitude. Da Bears stalled and used Forte’s health up and now they want to jerk him around. They better fear karma.

  38. KIR says: May 26, 2012 10:10 PM

    @furtigan says: May 26, 2012 7:33 PM

    Seriously? You are comparing what you do with what these guys do? You are fungible … as interchangeable aaas a flashlight battery. These guys, literally, put their lives and health on the line. …

    Got news for ya champ … football players are fungible, too. That’s what the replacement games in 1987 proved. NFL ratings didn’t drop when Brady and Manning missed seasons, and the NFL will keep making money long after Matt Forte is gone.
    ________________________
    Fungible? What were the ratings and attendance for the replacement games? What are the rating and attendance for preseason games 1,2 &4? Now, what were the ratings and attendance for preseason game 3? Rotf…… laughing at you. You do know the owners signed a 20 billion dollar TV contact. That was not to see slow chubby guys play a neighborhood pickup game. And, it wasn’t for great college players who couldn’t make an NFL team. Fungible? I think not.

  39. covercorner says: May 26, 2012 10:18 PM

    If the Bears think Forte is used up, let him go now so he can pursue a free agent contract.

  40. rockbottom37 says: May 26, 2012 10:28 PM

    With that OL he will take a hit to the knee and be out for the year by week 4…da bears!

  41. bigjd says: May 26, 2012 10:47 PM

    If you were leasing a car and the car started to break down, would you reup the lease or lease a new one?

  42. suprsquirrel says: May 26, 2012 10:56 PM

    Anyone who feels sorry for Forte at this point is an idiot IMHO. Seriously, he has done this to himself. He wants to be paid like a top tier back when he isn’t one.

    Want to argue that point? Fine. Let’s go. He is HORRIBLE at short yardage. So much so that in the past three seasons they have brought in Chester Taylor, Marion Barber and now Michael Bush to take over that duty for him. You’d think he’d either A) work harder at short yardage plays (the guy is 6’2″, 218, he’s not a ‘small back’) or B) realize that, hey, he’s not an ‘elite’ back and an offer of 6 million per year….you know, what the Bears have been offering him for over a year….is more than fair.

    The fact is Forte overvalues himself. And he painted himself in this corner. Two years ago nearly every Bears fan was on his side. Two years later and he finds his supporters dwindling by the day.

    Feel sorry for him if you must, but what the Bears are doing is smart business. They have a good, not great, player who is asking over market value for his services. They have the ability to franchise tag him for a couple of a seasons versus caving in to unreasonable demands. As a Bears fan I applaud them for not over paying for what he brings to the table, because it will allow the Bears to bring in more key players.

  43. lilmiddle78 says: May 26, 2012 11:25 PM

    It’s really exhausting to hear the Bears & many of you other posters make the same misconceived assumption that Forte will be oh so easy to replace with another RB!! Bush is maybe half the talent that Forte is and will produce about half as well. It’s true that teams can find running backs cheap these days but what you get is about ten in a row while trying to find the next elite RB to fill that void!!

    Also important to make note that his knees HAVE held up thus far!! He has only experienced sprains, not tears, no surgeries and he has not missed any significant playing time until the tail end of this past season!! If Matt Forte does get used up & his career comes to an end it will likely be near the end of his next contract (about 4-5 years)!! The truly rediculous part is that they’re not going to be held to the contract anyway!! If he gets hurt or they don’t want him anymore they can simply cut him and suffer only a small cap hit!! He’s not even asking for crazy money, the deal Shady McCoy just signed should be a perfect comparison tool. Forte should be offered just over or just under what McCoy just signed for!!! PAY THE MAN!! HE’S GOT A NEW OFFENSE TO LEARN!!

  44. mullman7675 says: May 27, 2012 1:38 AM

    Bush is capable of being an every down back. With McFadden in Oakland, Bush was used to his full ability.

    That being said, he should’ve stayed in Oakland. The team has more upside (yeah, I said it) and McFadden has not finished a season to date.

  45. mungman69 says: May 27, 2012 3:05 AM

    Pay the man. Stop this chicken sh t and sign him.

  46. lilmiddle78 says: May 27, 2012 4:40 AM

    *** akd1287 ***

    >>> That’s business. My company doesn’t care what I’ve done in the past for them. They keep me around because I continue to do it. I would be out of the door too if I couldn’t. <<<
    ———————————————————————————–

    Now if you had been performing over & above the expectations of your last contract with the verbal promises from your bosses that your efforts were not going unnoticed & that you would be taken good care of at your next review, you would be excited to see just what they had in store for your future salary, right?!?!? When the day of your review rolls around they insult you by showing you 70% of the salary that others in your position make, those who you've outperformed regularly for years!! Oh, and the company has come up with the stance that you will not be able to perform your job this well beyond another year!! ??? Would you use every amount of leverage you had to force their hand and get the type of contract & salary your work has dictated??

  47. oldbyrd says: May 27, 2012 8:28 AM

    McCoy and Forte…..WOW WOW

  48. qj1984 says: May 27, 2012 8:46 AM

    @jutts

    It’s a shame people are allowed to throw around misinformation like that. Forte and MJD are represented by Adisa Bakari. Ray Rice is represented by Todd France. That’s not nearly the conspiracy that you think it is.

  49. blacknyellablacknyella says: May 27, 2012 8:54 AM

    anytime a fan EVER argues against a player holding out for more money, the counterargument will now and forever be: forte.

    end of argument.

  50. varnbo says: May 27, 2012 9:51 AM

    The Bears are despicable. Forte has put it on the line since he’s been in Chicago. He plays hard, and did I mention he’s very good. Runs the ball, great hands out of the backfield. Top 5 back in the NFL. A true 3 down back who has out performed his original deal. No holdouts, just a pro who has gotten better each year.

    Injures his knee which by all appearances isn’t serious. He’ll be back at 100%. Now all of a sudden the Bears are concerned about his knees, so no rewarding him with what would be his 2nd contract. Isn’t that what the new CBA is all about, taking care of the guys who have proven themselves, while making the rookies earn their way?

    Compare the way Forte has handled himself with D. Jackson’s behavior in philly.

    I hope Forte gets the hell out of Chicago because the Bears don’t deserve him. How many teams would love to have a back with his talents?

    PAY THE MAN!

  51. fsf7 says: May 27, 2012 10:34 AM

    scytherius says: May 26, 2012 6:58 PM

    jdandcoke says:
    May 26, 2012 6:29 PM
    botchedextrapoint says:

    Makes good business sense but that doesn’t make it right.

    lol….i make pretty decent money….and it would take me close to 65 years at my current salary to make what forte will make in 2012.
    lets calm down with how “wrong” making 7.7 mill for one year of work is.

    ============================

    Seriously? You are comparing what you do with what these guys do? You are fungible … as interchangeable aaas a flashlight battery. These guys, literally, put their lives and health on the line. They also make BILLIONS for management. And you? Yeah. Thought not.

    So truck on back to fungibility and leave economics to the grown ups.
    ————————————————-

    Mr. “Fungible” – what the heck do you know about economics (especially when you don’t know a thing about grammar? You have no idea what this individual does for a living yet you assume “interchangeability”.

    Forte has made a quality living and had an opportunity to make even more money with a quality contract offered to him prior to last season.

    If you knew anything about “economics” you would understand what Forte’s situation really was – to say nothing about how “interchangeable” the Bears are viewing him.

  52. ernie ernie says: May 27, 2012 10:58 AM

    I can recall many, many running backs over the years who reached their prime, were unloaded and never were as good as they were for the first team they played for. It happens.
    The Bears understand this and are smart enough to only pony up small chunks of change and not the big long term contract and big money Forte is looking for.
    Forte clearly wants the big contract to pad his bank account before the downslide starts, who can blame him but hey, the Bears aren’t budging.

  53. jutts says: May 27, 2012 12:08 PM

    @qj1984

    My mistake, . Not saying it was any kind of conspiracy, just that some agents give their clients bad advise . That’s my opinion.

  54. Deb says: May 27, 2012 2:09 PM

    @trevor123698 …

    Thanks! We’ll look into it. The situation is getting desperate.

  55. bo1210 says: May 29, 2012 2:20 PM

    “his knees HAVE held up thus far!! He has only experienced sprains, not tears, no surgeries”

    WRONG. Forte DID have surgery in early 2010. And the injury last year was classified as Grade 2. Do your homework before making idiotic remarks.

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