Matt Forte: Bears don’t think I’m elite

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Bears running back Matt Forte remains unhappy with his contract, and he’s starting to take the lack of an extension personally.

Obviously someone doesn’t believe I’m an elite running back,” Forte said, per John Mullin of

Forte doesn’t say who that “someone” is, but he’s presumably referring to Bears G.M. Jerry Angelo, who was reportedly offering much less than Forte wanted before the team and Forte cut off contract talks at the start of the season.

Forte has put up big numbers this season: He’s second in the league through two games with 334 yards from scrimmage. But 207 of those yards have come through the passing game, and Forte may also be wondering if Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz doesn’t view him as elite: In Sunday’s loss to the Saints, Martz pretty much forgot about Forte.

Forte would love to be a workhorse, and to get paid like a workhorse.

“I’d like to get paid off of the production,” Forte said. “When you look at the production and what level that’s on and you look at some of the guys who are producing and what they get paid, it’s not that hard.”

84 responses to “Matt Forte: Bears don’t think I’m elite

  1. Idk what it is but I don’t view Forte as a top 5 or even top 10 back in the NFL. You’ve got all day AP, Chris Johnson, Ray Rice, Darren McFadden, MJD, Arian Foster, Steven Jackson, Mendenhall, Hillis, and Jamaal Charles just off the top of my head.

  2. What Jerry Angelo doesn’t know would fill volumes. In other words Matt, don’t take it personally.

  3. As a Bears fan, I love Forte, but he’s not elite. Close but not quite there.

    Matt, you deserve to get paid pretty good. You have a lot of value in this offense. Just don’t overprice yourself.

  4. “Obviously someone doesn’t think I’m elite”


    And the Bears are not alone in their thinking.

  5. Forte is better than Hillis and Mendenhall. Jerry Angelo is one of the worst GMs in football. He’s their #1 receiver and running back, pay him.

  6. This guy deserves to be paid, but he’s certainly not elite. I’d have him right at the top of the next tier though.

  7. If only you guys had a espn insider subscription. If you do, look up Matt forte espn insider and you’ll see how he is comparable to Adrian Peterson. Don’t talk if you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  8. How many all purpose yards would he put up per game if the Bears didn’t have a high school caliber offensive line?

    Ironically, their offensive line is just offensive.

  9. That’s because you’re not elite Matt. Do you know the definition of elite? AP, CJ, & MJD are the only elite RBs in the NFL. The next level of extremely good RBs include Mendenhall, Rice, McCoy, Charles, Jackson, Foster, Gore, McFadden, DeAngelo, & Turner. You’re not even on that level. You’re with Blount, Hillis, Bradshaw, Fred Jackson, & Benson. You’ve had one year rushing more than 4 ypc. You deserve a contract similar to Bradshaw’s (4yr $18M, $9M guaranteed). To think you’re gonna get DeAngelo dollars (5yr $43M, $21M guaranteed) you’re crazy.

  10. Forte is serviceable at running the ball. However, he is quite outstanding as a pass receiver out of the backfield. He certainly deserves more money, but he is not elite in any sense of the word.

  11. There is no reason to pay him a king’s ransom. Any defense can stop any RB if they key on him. He is a running back in a passing league. If the O-line opens the holes, you can always get a cheap guy to run through them. It sucks for him, but he plays a position that has been de-emphasized.

  12. what do you expect? its the bears. the same bears that think that roy williams is a better option at receiver than johnny knox

  13. The Bears front office, as usual, have screwed the pooch.

    He might not be the best back in the league or deserve CJ/AD money.. But he’s pretty damn good, and they need to take care of him. He accounts for what LITTLE offense that team has.

    If you think your offense sucks now, Chicago, go ahead and let this guy walk.

  14. littledill says:
    Sep 21, 2011 7:14 PM
    Pay that man his money

    any “Rounders” reference gets multiple thumbs up from me… and pay forte already. Da Bears are garbage

  15. He isn’t elite… ever had him on your fantasy team? Seriously… that’s how you know if a person is elite or not… Roy Helu will be better than Forte… Fourth rounder!!! Book IT!

  16. If they let this guy walk than the Bears really need to get rid of Angelo. This is coming from a Packer fan. The guy can do it all and shows it week in and week out. I hope they do let him walk at the end of the year but that would be a huge mistake. They have already made the locker room made letting Kreutz go which was stupid, this would make all their FAs want to walk. You have to reward your own players.

  17. Those of you who don’t think he isn’t a top back don’t know anything about football. Looks at the production and he plays behind an awful O-Line. He is a terrific pass blocker and amazing catching the ball out of the back field. He is better than just about anyone not name Peterson or Drew.

  18. Matt, Cards fan here. We’ll trade you straight up for Beanie AND give you some elite cash. Maybe you can stay healthy for 2 games in a row and catch a pass.

  19. As far as I can tell, Forte is the Bears. Take him away and all you have is Quitler bouncing wild fastballs off his back foot to an underwhelming and gutless bunch of receivers.

    Maybe the Bears don’t have the cash flow, on account of the ridiculous extension they gave Quitler. The one that basically affirmed that he’d never be expected to actually learn how to anything but throw hard and su(l)k.

  20. Forte may not be among the best in the league, but he’s far and away the best thing the Bears have.

  21. CJ is NOT elite. He had one freak season and has done nothing but talk noise and add gold teeth to his mouth until he got paid. He’s all talk at this point.

  22. All these guys ever hear from anyone they talk to is how great they are. When they run across someone who doesn’t stroke their ego, they get all bent out of shape. Forte is a good RB. Good does not mean elite. He is not a game-changing back. He is a guy that shows up and does his job well. He has had some stellar performances but they are not as often as he believes. He is worthy of a new contract but he is delusional if he thinks it should be close to what the Panthers overpaid for Hall.

  23. Hate on, haters, but not a single one of you would waste time to blink given the chance to get Forte and dump CJ . Or Gore. Face it, no NFL teams playing CHI are gameplanning on how to shut down Cutler and his Arena-league WRs. I don’t even like the Bears, but props to Forte.

  24. Running backs are a depreciating asset to the NFL. Look at the defending superbowl champions. They won it all without having a run game. Also look at all the teams that waisted their money on runningbacks recently. Titans, CJ has not done a thing in the first 2 games. 9ers, Gore has done nothing. Panthers, Williams has done nothing in the first 2 games. I can go on and on.

  25. The same people that bash Forte are the ones that say the Bears O line sucks, their WRs suck, Martz’s play calling sucks….

    What would Forte do with a team that could block and knew what to do with him?
    If he really is just so-so then why does he rate in the top 5 in the league in yards from scrimmage year after year?

    Give him his money.

  26. Reference point John Kuhn. Okay, he’s a fullback so it’s a bit different, granted. 2011 stats: Games played, 2. Carries, 3. Yards gained, 6. Production: 1 first down, 2 touchdowns. Averages: yards per carry, 2. Points per carry, 4. Max yardage isn’t everything.

  27. refsburgh says:
    Sep 21, 2011 7:22 PM
    Forte is better than Hillis and Mendenhall. Jerry Angelo is one of the worst GMs in football. He’s their #1 receiver and running back, pay him.
    This don’t make sense neither of them 2 backs have gotten a second contract either to compare plus their styles all three are different! But anyway this is your opinion cause plenty of people in Cleveland & Pittsburgh would disagree! IMO they would all get paid bout the same tho

  28. Some of you people don’t understand what an elite back is. Name a weakness this player has besides his coach doesn’t give him enough touches. He can run between the tackles, he has the speed to run off tackle. He’s fast enough to run routes downfield against safety’s. No linebacker can hang with him in the passing game on underneath stuff. He has tremendous hands and has had 100 yards receiving the last two weeks. Oh by the way, he is durable and isn’t a one hit wonder like Charles and Foster. And he actually showed up like a PROFESSIONAL for training camp even though he was pissed about his contract, CJ stayed home and pouted until he got his money.. Not Elite, pffffffffffttttt!!

  29. Forte is very, very good. But he’s not elite. He doesn’t pass the Hall of Fame test: basically, do you see Forte going into the Hall of Fame? CJ does, so does AP, and maybe I could buy MJD having an outside shot.

    He should get paid for what he is: very, very good. If the Bears don’t recognize that and can’t win with Forte, that’s not his fault. Teams can win with very, very good players.

  30. He’s still the best reciever they have. He is very good, but ELITE means a top 5 or so HB, and he may be around top 10, but there is a reason the RBs hold out more frequently than other positions cuz everyone understands how beat up they get, and how they can be found easier than other positions.

  31. he is very comparable to Fred Jackson. Freddy is annoyed by his contract still but he doesn’t come out saying he’s an elite back. there both great backs but not elite. RBs are a dime a dozen these days Adrian Peterson is the only back who seperates himself from the pack. than its CJ, turner, sjax, mjd, etc.

  32. I make the analogy he is like Joseph Addai, they are good backs who have the most value to their teams and likely wouldn’t be as productive on other teams or as valuable.

    Forte deserves to get paid in my opinion, but he needs to realize he is not a top 5 back and hence shouldn’t expect that sort of money

  33. tdk24 says: Sep 21, 2011 8:56 PM

    Matt, you’re not. That’s why I traded you away for Welker, straight up.

    Through two games:

    Forte: 117 rush yards, 15 rec for 207 yards 1 TD

    324 yrds 1TD = 32 + 6 = 38

    Welker: 15 rec for 241 2 TD: 24+12= 36
    (a good portion of which came on 99TD)

    Who do you think is more likely to keep up that pace . . . a workhorse running back/ primary check-down for a QB that needs to check down a lot . . . or a slot receiver with a great QB, who also has great TE’s and other good receivers?

    The reason Forte gets so many yards is because he is the centerpiece of the Bears offense. Pay him.

  34. i would take fred jackson over 3/4 of the guys that have been mentioned here. bills fan yes but i watch everyone with the ticket on sunday.

  35. Fact: he is currently horribly underpaid
    Fact: he is the only player that can consistently get that offense moving.
    Chicago needs him and they owe him.

  36. nelspetersen says: Sep 21, 2011 7:17 PM

    Idk what it is but I don’t view Forte as a top 5 or even top 10 back in the NFL. You’ve got all day AP, Chris Johnson, Ray Rice, Darren McFadden, MJD, Arian Foster, Steven Jackson, Mendenhall, Hillis, and Jamaal Charles just off the top of my head.
    This is perhaps the most retarded thing I have ever heard in my life. Last year, Forte had a better rushing AND receiving average than MJD, Ray Rice, Rashard Mendenhall, and Peyton Hillis. Just looking at pure rushing, I will give you AP, CJ, Jackson and Charles. McFadden’s one good year after two mediocre ones is not a big enough sample size to claim he is top anything. Let’s wait on that.

    Very few backs are as complete as Matt Forte. He picks up the blitz well and is an absolute monster in the receiving game. I don’t see Ray Rice or CJ running many F Post patterns. He is extremely durable and played almost his entire second year through documented injury. I could only imagine what teams like the Pack, Saints or Chargers would be like with Forte.

  37. littledill says:
    Sep 21, 2011 7:14 PM
    Pay that man his money.

    Martz is still up 20 grand from this last time he stick it in you (ta tik ta tik ta tik)

  38. The Mike Martz effect… smh

    Forte is a beast… they better wake the hell up before its lights out for them, Detroit is on their bumper

  39. l had Forte on my fantasy team last year, and after a slow start (due to play calling) he was a beast the 2nd half of the season. This kids only 25, he’s getting better every year and plays EVERY GAME. He is without a doubt the Bears best and most productive offensive player and that includes Cutler. If you know football you know he’s the best back they’ve had since Sweetness!

  40. Been a Bear fan my whole life. On the season ticket waiting list. Have not missed watching a Bears game in 12 years. Starting to rethink my dedication. Forte is a top 5 back, maybe a top 3 and that seems to be common knowledge at this point. If things don’t change quickly I am boycotting until Angelo’s ass is gone.

  41. Jerry Angelo is an idiot plain and simple. Earlier in the year on Waddle & Silvy he tried to defend the fact that less than have the teams in the NFL have a number one receiver. Well Jerry let me teach you team by team:

    Packers: Greg Jennings
    Lions: Calvin Johnson
    Eagles: Desean Jackson
    Cowboys: Austin Miles & Dez Bryant
    Giants: Hakeem Nicks
    Falcons: Roddy White & Julio Jones
    Panthers: Steve Smith
    Bucs: Mike Williams
    Saints: Marques Colston (arguable)
    Cardinals: Larry Fitzgerald
    Chiefs: Dewayne Bowe
    Chargers: Vincent Jackson
    Broncos: Brandon Lloyd (arguable)
    Colts: Reggie Wayne
    Texans: Andre Johnson
    Titans: Kenny Britt
    Ravens: Anquan Boldin
    Steelers: Mike Wallace
    Bills: Stevie Johnson
    Dolphins: Brandon Marshall
    Patriots: Wes Welker
    Jets: Santonio Holmes

    Now I could go over the list of Running backs Matt Forte is better than, but its too long to list. Lets just say F*it Jerry and franchise him.
    Jerry you are the worst thing that ever happened to the Bears and you need to be fired.

  42. Greenbay, New England, NYJ, San Diego, New Orleans, Detroit, Arizona, Seattle, Miami, Tampa Bay, Washington, Carolina (yes, he’s better than Williams), Indianapolis, Dallas ALL of these teams would take Forte over their current backs guaranteed.

  43. Jerry Angelo needs to pay forte he has bin our most productive back in twenty years he was quick to give devin Hester money and he wasn’t even drafted as a wide receiver let alone a #1 there sitting on millions below the cap how can he be so stubborn… Zero offensive pro bowlers under Angelo… he better hope forte stats healthy cause without him there is no offense

  44. Shut the fffffuu.. up! you morons who know nothing about football!!

    and Mr. Forte…just shut the fffffuu..up! and play football!

  45. Also, in regards to the idiot smadison29: Your top tier running backs list is laughable. Do you watch football?

    AP (yes), CJ (had one monster year and has been figured out, not to mention that now he’s been paid he will not live up too any of the hype: Has Elite speed but is not elite) & MJD (yes)

    The next level of extremely good RBs include Mendenhall (as good as Forte), Rice (yes), McCoy (yes),

    Charles (Garbage), Jackson (no), Foster (not yet), Gore (no), McFadden (draw), DeAngelo (no), & Turner (maybe).

    What you fail to understand is that the Bears have no O-line, and no one to keep the opposing defense honest with a decent passing game. Forte is a TOP 10 NFL BACK, residing in the 7-9 range and he can go up from there. The people that argue against Forte in this thread not being an elite player don’t watch enough football and probably get most their information from Trent Dilfer.

  46. He’s not.

    Young All Day, DMC, MJD, Bradshaw, Rice, Mendenhall, Charles, Gore, Steve Jack and Chris Johnson all are better — off the top of my head. Hell, even Hillis, who isn’t a flash in the pan, is better.

  47. I would say he’s elite for the bears..he IS the offense. Huge mistake if the bears let this guy get away,pay him.

  48. For one, Matt is an elite running back. Some of you people concentrate too much on the names that ESPN force feeds you for fantasy football. He had one year where he didn’t reach 1000 yards rushing because he was hampered with a bad foot. To my knowledge though, he hasn’t ever missed a game. He’s had at least 50 catches in every season. Since he’s been in the league, he’s had more yards from scrimmage than everyone but AP, Chris Johnson, MJD, and Steven Jackson. He’s not asking for that kind of money, but he’s certainly deserving of Frank Gore type money. He’s also the first Bear to have 10 receptions in a game since Marty Booker in 2002. 2002! Pay him.

    Secondly, Jerry Angelo is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But I think he’s definitely above average.
    Most of you forget he’s employed by one of the cheapest ownerships in all of sports. Why do they always get a pass? They’re consistently 15 million under the cap. What great, championship-caliber teams stay that far under the cap? They’re the true villains. Jerry can only do so much with what he’s given.

  49. Spend significant funds on a runningback at your own peril. RIP Chiefs, Panthers, and Titans…. Vikings to be determined, but 2011 is over because you have McNabb. Steven Jackson how is your season going? Gore welcome to week 3… it’s been a while.

  50. Forte, may not be AP elite , but as a Viking fan, Chicago is completely using him correctly! He is a very top tier back, he should get paid accordingly! I’m glad I drafted him, he is solid and works hard!

  51. Unlike Frank Gore, this isn’t a banged up guy on his last leg trying to get a paycheck. This guy deserves to get paid. He’s in his prime, is very important to that team, and is one of the truly versatile backs in the league. He’s not at all different from Lesean McCoy.


  52. @thebakesho…I always laugh when someone tries to say that a rookie is a #1 receiver. I was surprised that your list didn’t include A.J. Green with the Bengals as a #1…he was, after all, a higher draft pick. Jones is going to be good, but he is nowhere near a #1 yet. For that matter, neither is Dez Bryant.

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