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Cutler’s comments undermine Forte’s leverage

Jay Cutler, Matt Forte AP

When it comes to a player talking about another player’s contractual situation, the smartest move is not to.

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler opted for something less than smart on Friday, when Cutler said he’d be “shocked” (and possibly perplexed) if running back Matt Forte doesn’t sign his $7.7 million franchise tender by the middle of next month.

“I would be shocked if he doesn’t sign his tender by July 15, or whenever it is, and he shows up.  It would really be a surprise to me,” Cutler said on ESPN 1000 in Chicago.  “At the end of the day, I think Matt knows it’s business.  He’s still getting seven-whatever-million dollars to play this year.  So he’s gonna show up.”

For starters, Cutler doesn’t understand how the franchise tag business works.  July 15 (this year, July 16 because July 15 falls on a Sunday) is the deadline for signing a franchise-tagged player to a long-term deal.  Forte can still sign his franchise tender after July 16 and still get his “seven-whatever million dollars” from the Bears.

Actually, Forte can stay away from all of training camp and all of the preseason and sign the franchise tender days before the start of the regular season and get his full “seven-whatever million dollars.”  And if the Bears don’t give him the long-term deal that he wants by July 16, staying away until the last minute is the smart play, because it keeps Forte from being exposed to injury during training camp or the preseason.

Even if Cutler knew what he was talking about, he shouldn’t be talking.  Forte is trying to use the leverage of withheld services to get a long-term deal.  Cutler’s comments undermine Forte’s leverage.

And in turn Cutler’s comments possibly undermine the relationship between Cutler and Forte.

Given Forte’s uncanny ability to speak candidly without being disrespectful, don’t be shocked (or perplexed) if someone asks Forte about Cutler’s comments.  And don’t be shocked (or perplexed) if Forte expresses his disappointment, bluntly yet tactfully.

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41 Responses to “Cutler’s comments undermine Forte’s leverage”
  1. captainwisdom8888 says: Jun 9, 2012 6:35 PM

    I wonder how thrilled Cutler would be to hear Forte chiming in on his QB’s contract decisions…

  2. jeffw says: Jun 9, 2012 6:55 PM

    …and there it is. like clockwork, Cutler is good for an idiot move at least twice a season.

  3. 91devinhester23 says: Jun 9, 2012 6:57 PM

    cutler wearing pads and that hat looks downright hilarious

  4. bearsfan88 says: Jun 9, 2012 7:02 PM

    Florio must be bored to be nitpicking like that. Cutler meant once Forte realized on July 16 that he wasn’t getting the long term deal, he’d sign the tender and get his “seven and whatever million” dollars.

  5. johnnyjagfan says: Jun 9, 2012 7:12 PM

    Cutler’s comments do zero to impact Forte’s deal. You guys think the GM really cares what he thinks? He’s just another player. GM’s don’t consult the QB on contract negotiations for a RB.

  6. ephillips122 says: Jun 9, 2012 7:14 PM

    Everyone just wants to criticize him. He’s too honest for people. I guess people have really grown accustom to hearing that generic response. But let’s face it, Cutlers right, he will sign if a deal is not done before then.

  7. onereasonableman says: Jun 9, 2012 7:15 PM

    The only way comments like this would undermine Forte’s leverage would be if Forte said them himself.

    Cutler making a stupid comment doesn’t effect the leverage Forte has by staying away.

    If I were Forte and someone asked me about Cutler’s comments, I would just say, “The only reason Cutler wants me to sign that tender is because he knows how valuable I am to the team! I’ll sign… the long term deal. Otherwise, good luck without me.”

  8. catchhester23 says: Jun 9, 2012 7:22 PM

    Think your making a mountain out of a mole hill. Cutler never said when he will be back cutler just he will sign the tender. Which I think forte will also, and what leverage does forte really have. If forte played for a whopping 600,000 last year that seven million something is one hell of a raise!

  9. historicfacepalm says: Jun 9, 2012 7:23 PM

    Wow, talk about taking a story and turn it into something it isn’t. Watch the interview, this wasn’t damaging to Forte’s camp or anything Cutler can’t apologize for if Forte gets upset. Way to show your Cutler bashing tendencies Florio, by talking about a story that came out over a day ago.

  10. mialto says: Jun 9, 2012 7:33 PM

    If Forte doesnt want his $7 whatever million I’m sure theres an Arian Foster sitting at home watching TV…he’s a RB not a franchise QB or LB or DE. Period!

  11. theashleyguy says: Jun 9, 2012 7:39 PM

    I’m fascinated by this story because Cutler unthinkingly sells out a teammate, and everybody says basically, “Yep, that’s Cutler.” But when you suggest Cutler sells out his teammates by faking injuries in a championship game (standing and walking around on a knee that is supposed to be hurt so badly that he has to leave a playoff game), an unbelievable number of Chicago fans say, “Oh no Cutler wouldn’t do that!” Please! That’s exactly what he does–verbally or physically.

  12. mediasloppy says: Jun 9, 2012 8:02 PM

    Any player in the NFL with a brain KNOWS when it comes to money you simply say, “He’s going to do what’s best for him and it’s not my role to comment any further.”

  13. rooney24 says: Jun 9, 2012 8:20 PM

    Well, you can’t expect Cutler to know how the franchise tender works. He won’t ever have it apply to him.

  14. gdfbar says: Jun 9, 2012 8:51 PM

    This is a classic case of making something out of nothing. Cutler didn’t really say anything, beyond what common sense would dictate. He didn’t say that Forte should or shouldn’t do anything, he just said that it’s a lot of money, and that Forte know that it is a business. The first part of it is a fact, and the second part is pretty reasonable to assume. If Forte does hold out, and Cutler starts bitching about it the story will be different. For now, the guy really didn’t do anything other than give an opinion that would be the opinion of most reasonable and informed people.

  15. vetdana says: Jun 9, 2012 8:58 PM

    Leverage ?……….If Forte had any of that, the deal would have been done months ago ! He will play for 7.7 mil….because he cannot get it from any other source than the franchise tender…that is really the end of the story regards Forte and his contract this year.Next year ?…stay tuned…

  16. stugots2face says: Jun 9, 2012 9:03 PM

    What Cutler said not affect the mentality of Cliff Stien and Phil Emery or Forte and Bakari in the contract negotiation. The comment on cutler sitting out the championship game should know what your talking about before you speak. He had a grade 2 MCL tear you obviously are not a Bears fan or even a rational football fan. To question who is probably one of the toughest sons of bitches in the game right now. He even finished the San D iego game with the broken hand last year not to count the beatings he has took the past two years. Does he make some questionable comments because he is blunt yes but this was not one of them just an opportunity to bash is all.

  17. cannonballdookie says: Jun 9, 2012 9:52 PM

    If this was Chris Johnson you guys would agree with him 100% but everyone sides with Forte. How can you blame Cutler for wanting his best player on the field? Even if Forte is in an awkward financial situation and doesn’t feel wanted in Chicago, the locker room would rather him on the field, it’s common sense.

  18. footballfanatic1906 says: Jun 9, 2012 9:59 PM

    bearsfan88 says:
    Jun 9, 2012 7:02 PM
    Florio must be bored to be nitpicking like that. Cutler meant once Forte realized on July 16 that he wasn’t getting the long term deal, he’d sign the tender and get his “seven and whatever million” dollars.

    ———————————————————————————–

    Ladies and Gentlemen the only person alive that can tell you what Cutler means besides himself. How do you read his mind? What a feat!

  19. Great Caesar's Ghost says: Jun 9, 2012 10:08 PM

    Cutler’s ability also undermines Cutler’s performance.

  20. duerson1985 says: Jun 9, 2012 10:19 PM

    I think Matt Forte’s comments made on the NFL Networks “Top 100 players of 2012″ post show undermine Forte’s own leverage.

  21. sbad1985 says: Jun 9, 2012 10:45 PM

    Cutler is 100% correct. He’s also being honest. Forte is going to HAVE to sign the tender – and make a sweet $7 million dollars. He’ll be one of the top paid people in America, in an age when millions of us are unemployed and can’t get a job.

  22. Pacific NW Mark says: Jun 10, 2012 4:46 AM

    What’s truly amazing about this situation is that Forte and/or his agent believe they have any leverage at all.

  23. larryboodry says: Jun 10, 2012 5:24 AM

    Bottom line is, if Forte sits out because $7.7 mil isn’t enough for him, he’s hurting the team. Jay Cutler spoke the truth, without hurting Forte in any way, whether some of you can handle it or not.

  24. JaminJake says: Jun 10, 2012 12:13 PM

    Good old Jay Cutler. Born with two servings of football and half a serving of brain. This puts Forte in a strange position as you have his teammate and someone who should be on his side(a fellow player) more or less telling him to just play. Forte doesn’t have outrageous demands and handles himself well in the public media. Anyone remember what happened last time Cutler didn’t like how management treated him? That’s right he refused to speak until they traded him.

  25. larryboodry says: Jun 10, 2012 12:50 PM

    JaminJake says: Jun 10, 2012 12:13 PM

    Good old Jay Cutler. Born with two servings of football and half a serving of brain. This puts Forte in a strange position as you have his teammate and someone who should be on his side(a fellow player) more or less telling him to just play. Forte doesn’t have outrageous demands and handles himself well in the public media. Anyone remember what happened last time Cutler didn’t like how management treated him? That’s right he refused to speak until they traded him.
    ________________________________

    Look, people, this is getting ridiculous…Cutler offered his opinion while saying the team needs Forte…He did not tell Forte what he should do, he just said what he believes Forte will do. Forte’s demands may not be outrageous, but he needs to quit negotiating through the media…Sadly enough, he had no real leverage to begin with, and Jay’s comments didn’t change that fact…As to JaminJake’s comment, where exactly is this a parallel to Cutler’s treatment by, and subsequent trade from, Denver? The Broncos made it clear that they wanted a different QB, so Jay wanted out…The Bears see his value, and want to build an offense around him. How rude of them, and how rude asking Forte to play for a measly $7.7 mil.

  26. lrt79 says: Jun 10, 2012 4:29 PM

    Slow offseason means pointless “controversies” like this one erupting because Florio and company are desperate for hits.

  27. navybrat1972 says: Jun 11, 2012 3:11 PM

    JaminJake says: “Anyone remember what happened last time Cutler didn’t like how management treated him? That’s right he refused to speak until they traded him.”

    Shows what you know. Do you know, Jake, that Cutler was put up for trade to the Tampa Bay Bucs but the Bucs had Freeman and DID NOT want Cutler. So, Cutler basically made the Broncs “man up”. They said they wanted to trade Cutler, the trade fell thru, and suddenly, the Broncos wanted to keep Jay Cutler and Cutler went “No. You said you’d trade me…now trade me.”. McLoser couldn’t handle having a QB with his own mind on his team. I think the hatred of Cutler is because he’s playing for the team he grew up wanting to play for and everyone’s angry and/or jealous because of it.

    As far as Cutler’s comments…should he have said something? No. But, this does not undermine Forte’s contract negotiations nor Forte.

    And, JaminJake also states “This puts Forte in a strange position as you have his teammate and someone who should be on his side(a fellow player) more or less telling him to just play.”

    I don’t see how this was a teammate not backing his teammate. Cutler is too honest for his own good, but that’s part and parcel of who he is. And no one likes someone who’s honest….

  28. bubblefive says: Jun 11, 2012 5:12 PM

    Cutler is a walking ZERO whose poor judgement will continue to undermine his God-given talent and plague the Bears well into the future, both on and off the field.

    Ask yourself, when is the last time any of you has seen Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford, Philip Rivers, or any truly elite NFL quarterback dive foolishly head over heels in a futile attempt to tackle a defender after yet another one of the QB’s interceptions.

    Never, as true elite NFL quarterbacks are much smarter than that, understanding their true value and importance to a team over the entire season.

    Cutler, on the other hand, never letting a thought interfere with any of his actions, caused his own injury, and cost the Bears’ any realistic chance at a #5 or #6 seed in the playoffs.

    Forte, on the other hand, does have leverage if he chooses to exercise it. The Bears set a precedent a few years ago by agreeing to not franchise Lance Briggs a second consecutive season.

    Even after 7/16, Forte can hold out from signing the franchise tender until the Bears agree to a similar concession for him. After all, the only thing Forte truly desires is to be compensated at his open market value that accompanies unrestricted free agency.

    If the Bears agree before the start of the season, Forte gets his $7.7 million and the Bears get their most valuable offensive player for a whole season.

    On the other hand, the next big deadline would become 11/20/12. That is the Tuesday prior to the Bears’ 11th game, or the last day that Forte can sign the franchise tender and still play this year.

    If he signs on that last date, he still earns $2.92 millions for six weeks of work, still a 400% raise over last season. Also, he avoids the risk of injury for the first 10 games of the season. The ~ $4.8 million dollars sacrificed would be more than made up by an open market FA contract the following season.

    Even better, the Bears (and the folks at Halas Hall do realize this) would lose their chance at competing for the #5 or #6 playoff spot this year without the services of Forte for the first 10 games of the season. Given that realization, chances are the Bears would grant Forte the same concession granted to Briggs years earlier.

    That is, in the plainest definition of the word, LEVERAGE !!

  29. larryboodry says: Jun 11, 2012 6:25 PM

    @bubblefive:

    Your comments on Cutler are laughable, the other QBs you mentioned have surely put themselves in harm’s way to make plays after turnovers, or would if the situation arose…Also, I’ll bet that if Jay had pulled up at the last second and not tried to make that tackle, you’d say he was a baby afraid to get hurt…You haters twist the facts to bolster your perception every time.

    As for Forte, if he did what you suggest, that would make him greedy and selfish, and I would hope that by then Michael Bush would fill that void nicely.

    And btw, the Bears will be a higher seed than you predict this year, and will beat whatever team it is you root for…You can’t be a Bears fan and wish for Forte to sit out until November.

    Just sayin’.

  30. bubblefive says: Jun 11, 2012 7:54 PM

    @larryboodry

    1) You should actually watch what elite QB’s do after throwing an interception, in an actual game. The intelligent ones are either smart enough or have been coached well enough to know better than risking injury in these situations. Of course, the word has always been that Cutler is not coachable. If the walking ZERO is compensating due to earlier criticisms of being soft, then he is that much more a head case than earlier believed.

    2) Does anyone doubt that the two giggling schoolgirls, Cutler and Jeremy Bates, are already looking for ways to dump Mike Tice from his OC position. In their mind(s?), who could handle the OC tasks better than the two of them???

    3) If Bush were able to fill Forte’s role, he would not have been available to begin with, certainly not at the low price paid by the Bears. Also, there would be no reason to franchise Forte to begin with, if that were the case as well. The Bears’ management knows this, even if you don’t ….. yet.

    4) It is an unfortunate perception that if a team makes hard business decisions, they are acting prudently or intelligently. But a player is “greedy and selfish” ??

    5) This has nothing to do with fandom one way or the other. In fact, much of the criticism of Forte may exist simply because what is in Forte’s best interests is not the same as what is in the Bears’ best interests. This does not make Forte wrong, in the eyes of a Bears’ fan or a non-Bears’ fan.

    6) Given your comments, it seems clear that the prospect of Forte sitting out 10 games has you (and other Bear fans) concerned. That confirms the whole premise that Forte does in fact have leverage. On the other hand, if one really believes that Bush can replace Forte by week 10, why not give Forte the guarantee that he will not be franchised next year anyways?

    It’s your own inconsistencies that defeat your arguments, Larry.

  31. larryboodry says: Jun 11, 2012 9:48 PM

    @bubblefive:

    Nice reply…

    1.) I like Jay Cutler, and you don’t, so let’s simply agree to disagree, okay?

    2.) With the additions of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, Forte’s pass receiving numbers will likely drop this year, and Michael Bush is a good complement as a backup and on the goal line…Is he good enough to replace Forte’s numbers if there is an injury or holdout? No. Can the Bears offense still perform at a high level with Bush as the main back? I believe it can. So I apologize if my earlier comments implied otherwise.

    3.) Matt Forte has already received a long-term offer from the Bears, which he turned down, and that’s fine…The Bears in turn franchised him at $7.7 mil, which is certainly a fair salary. I get Forte’s desire for the security against injury a longer deal brings, and I think the Bears concerns about his knees are a joke. That said, I still think sitting out all or part of the season is the wrong route to take…Me, I’d be thrilled to be a part of this offense with the new weapons they have, and I’d invest my $7.7 mil in such a way that my family and I are set for life, even if I never sign another deal.

    4.) The Bush signing took away most of Forte’s leverage, unless Bush proves to be another Marion Barber or Chester Taylor, and the offense (if Forte sits out) struggles out of the gate…If that happens – and again, I don’t think it would – then yeah, the fans would clamor for the team to get Forte signed. On the other hand, another 7-3 start almost makes Forte an afterthought after ten games.

    5.) Bottom line, the Bears are a better team with Forte on the field, no doubt…But if he does sit out, I feel they will still be an offensive force in the NFC.

    6.) Anyway, like I said, nice reply.

  32. comeonnowguys says: Jun 12, 2012 2:39 PM

    @ashley

    Not kissing the media’s posterior is decidedly different than being *held* out of a game because of an injury.

    These Cutler-quitters are starting to sound like birthers.

  33. navybrat1972 says: Jun 12, 2012 3:32 PM

    @bubblefive: You say when speaking of Cutler running a player down after he threw an INT: “Ask yourself, when is the last time any of you has seen Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford, Philip Rivers, or any truly elite NFL quarterback dive foolishly head over heels in a futile attempt to tackle a defender after yet another one of the QB’s interceptions. Never, as true elite NFL quarterbacks are much smarter than that, understanding their true value and importance to a team over the entire season.”

    Did you forget the Rodgers (an Elite QB) was the one that kept Urlacher from a Pick 6 during the NFC Championship game or that Stafford (one of the QBs that you name) nearly ripped off DJ Moore’s head after each of them threw an interception? So, your argument here is NULL AND VOID because the ONLY one I’ve never seen run down an interception is Brady. While I HATE Tom Brady, he is arguably the most accurate thrower in the NFL and doesn’t have the opportunity to run down an interception.

    Peyton Manning had BLOCKED for his RBs and TEs and H-backs…So this is a case of being blinded by hatred of Cutler that you don’t see what the other Elite QBs do. Take off your blinders and see that the other Elite QBs DO put themselves in “danger” chasing down a player after an interception.

    Argument NULL AND VOID!

  34. joe240 says: Jun 12, 2012 8:05 PM

    Cutler’s judgement is suspect.

    Forte wants to get paid, but his leverage is not what it was before injury and the Bush signing.

    Can’t we all just agree on that?

  35. larryboodry says: Jun 12, 2012 10:15 PM

    @joe240:

    I suspect that your judgement about Jay Cutler is more suspect than his…As for Forte, we do agree that his leverage suffered for the two reasons you mention…Nothing Cutler said, however, had any bearing (ahem) on Forte’s situation, as I’m sure Matt will still do what he feels is best for him.

  36. beefbus says: Jun 13, 2012 1:45 PM

    No it doesn’t. The CBA undermines his leverage, which is nill.

  37. joe240 says: Jun 13, 2012 10:23 PM

    @larryboodry

    Don’t get me wrong, I love watching him play. But sometimes, it’s…. you know:questionable.

  38. larryboodry says: Jun 13, 2012 11:46 PM

    @joe240…I get where you would feel that way, especially after Cutler’s miscues early in his Bears career…BUT…Last year I think we saw a new Jay Cutler emerging, one I believe will be even better this year with all his new toys on offense.

  39. bubblefive says: Jun 14, 2012 2:29 AM

    Right!

    For example, Cutler will never be the QB that Brett Favre was. Nevertheless, as good as Favre was, he suffered terribly from bad judgement calls.

    What I don’t understand is why Cutler supporters are so defensive about this limitation, or live in such denial about this issue.

    In the end, Cutler will be judged by his record, for better or worse. The over-hype on his expectations or perceptions will fade as his career progresses.

  40. bubblefive says: Jun 14, 2012 7:27 AM

    @larryboodry

    Speaking of Cutler denial……

    “a new Jay Cutler emerging” ?????

    Yes, the Bears won 5 games in a row, before Cutler’s bad judgement cost him the rest of the season. However, Cutler averaged 220 yds passing in those five games, with only 7 TDs over that span, and an average QB rating of 86.1.

    Those are not the numbers of an “elite” QB, especially when one considers that only one of those five teams had a winning record, not exactly “elite” competition either.

    For each of the last two years, the Bears’ offense has only been productive when taking Cutler out of the gameplan, relying more on Forte. Yet, Cutler apologists drone on as if Cutler belongs in Canton.

    Will Cutler apologists ever acknowledge Cutler’s actual performance, rather than the perceptions of the QB wanna be he is.

  41. beefbus says: Jun 14, 2012 12:28 PM

    @bubblefive- since when is trying to make a TD saving tackle “bad judgement?” Btw- the INT wasn’t his fault cause Knox flat out fell on his route.

    This is the first year Cutler has been surrounded with better than average talent. Last year he was doing it under constant duress with below average talent and started to become a great leader. Please read the countless articles on the subject at Windy City Gridiron.

    If he fails to exceed expectations this season, then we can finally say he’s probably not going to be an elite QB in this league.

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