Big numbers by Forte haven’t moved Bears

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Matt Forte is doing his best to make the Bears re-consider their latest contract offer.

He leads all running backs this season in yards from scrimmage. He ranks sixth in yards-per-carry at 5.4, which is a career high.  He’s on pace for more than 1,200 yards rushing and 1,200 yards receiving.

Forte is really the only thing to like about the Bears offense, but his early production hasn’t affected contract talks yet.

“We have received no indication of any change in the stance of the Bears as it relates to their perception — despite his production — of Matt’s value,” agent Adisa Bakari said to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Everyone in Chicago seems well aware of the Bears’ position. Center Roberto Garza was asked if Forte took the team’s offensive linemen out to dinner after his 205-yard game.

“I don’t think he can afford it right now,” Garza jokingly said.

We suspect the Bears are simply comfortable making Forte the team’s franchise player next year. It’s an annoying position from Forte’s perspective, but makes some sense for Chicago.

Running back is the ultimate year-to-year position. Forte may deserve better, but his situation doesn’t sound especially likely to change no matter how many yards he puts up.

40 responses to “Big numbers by Forte haven’t moved Bears

  1. Can’t blame the Bears too much. There’s a reason this story wasn’t posted LAST week. They want to make sure he has more games to the tune of 25 carries, 205 yards.. not like the week before.. 9 carries, 2 yards.

  2. Is this the Matt Forte who went off for 205 against Carolina or is this the Matt Forte who ran for 2 against the Packers?

  3. Look at what Chris Johnson and Frank Gore have done after receiving their big money.

    As much as I would like to see Forte a Bear for a while, I don’t blame the Bears for holding off on their offers.

  4. As a Bears fan I’d love to see them lock Forte up. But why? Just tag him next year. Regardless of Lovie’s extension, who knows if this management group will be around for 2012 or 2013.

    The Bears are getting old fast and a flush of the toilet could be coming sooner than most people think.

  5. Well, as a Packers fan, I am loving this. It clearly shows the depth of the Bears’ managerial ineptitude; Forte is far and away their best offensive player, and they would rather toss 10’s of millions at a non-fit system QB in Jay Cutler than a talent they have had since day 1.

    I hope Forte leaves in free agency at some point soon. Until then, I hope the Bears re-sign, in order:

    1.) Jerry Angelo
    2.) Jay Cutler
    3.) Roy Williams
    4.) Brandon Meriweather

  6. gtorlone:

    I hope to God that you aren’t actually a Bears fan.

    Forte is the Bears best RB AND their best WR, not to mention that he possesses the vision to find running room despite running behind one of the league’s worst olines.

  7. forte is a good player. he should play his year out and if the bears dont want him just leave. another team will pick him up quick. bears r crazy he fits that offense perfectly

  8. The Bears would be wise to really consider getting this deal done sooner rather than later. Forte put in the work in the off-season and made the commitments to be one of the best at his position in the league; to this point in the season, albeit early, he has done that.

    If he continues to play as he has through the first four games, this situation will only gain more attention and more buzz from the media; and the asking price will only keep climbing.

    I can see Uncle Jerry wait until the season is over, and if the Bears are able to, slap the franchise tag on Forte and really make a bigger mess out of this situation than he (Angelo) already has.

    Bottom Line: Pay Forte now!

  9. The Bears really are a crappy orgainization. I’m not just talking about this Forte thing, but it’s a series of moves by this junior league franchise. Chicago’s only the 3rd largest market, but, once again, they s**t on their fan base.

    Bears management says “Hey, lets replace the crappy field………………..NAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. I don’t understand so many people just bitching about being franchise tagged. Julius Peppers got paid $16 guaranteed for one year when he was still at Carolina, and he was whining like a baby the whole time. Franchise tag = guaranteed great pay + options
    BTW that was a decent year for Peppers but certainly nowhere near his best.

  11. They’re fools, his price just keeps going up.

    He’s never put up less than 1,500 yards from scrimmage in any season, and he had a hammy injury in year two. He also rushes behind one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL.

    The dude clearly deserved $18million guaranteed – but the price went up once Peterson and Chris Johnson signed their deals, who got much more than that.

    If Angelo has Tim Ruskell talking about Shaun Alexander not trying after getting his big contract, then he’s a frickin’ idiot. Shove ’em all out the frickin’ door and bring in Cowher and whomever. I’m so sick of this regime.

    Stick a fork in the defense in two years too, as Urlacher, Briggs, Peppers and Tillman are fading now.

  12. Overated? Whatever. He’s got soft hands, is an amazing open field runner, he’s durable and always plays better down the stretch when it counts. . This guy would have 2o00 combined yards a year playing in New England or New Orleans.

  13. Let’s see:
    Roy Williams = $2.46 million (5 rec, 70 yards, 0 tds)
    Matt Forte = $600k (26 rec, 310 yards; 60 rushes, 324 yards, 2 tds)

    Actually explains a great deal….

  14. Bears fan here,

    For a team in a great market, with a great fan base, the Bears FO are so fricken cheap. They’d be left behind like the Blackhawks were if they didn’t overachieve every year. Could you imagine this team if you just add 1 good OLineman, and 1 not-converted WR? It boggles the mind how they play well with the roster they “built.” That’s why Hester is so valuable.

  15. “Everyone in Chicago seems well aware of the Bears’ position. Center Roberto Garza was asked if Forte took the team’s offensive linemen out to dinner after his 205-yard game.”

    I doubt cutler would want to take them to dinner anytime soon…

  16. Oh, and his backup is making $2.875 million to his $600k. Bears and their front office are a joke. Glad to see a deserving franchise in Detroit zoom right past them. A team headed towards the toilet in the next few years as that defense is getting old and their qb will never be a true leader

  17. @BearFan, they’re not cheap though. They’ve opened up the pocket book to overpay free agents last year (Peppers, Taylor and Shamu). Gave extensions to Urlacher, Tillman, Briggs, Cutler and Olin was very highly paid. NOBODY gave Olin more money than what the Bears offered him. He’ll make half as much in New Orleans.

    They were always cheap with assistant coaches (Rivera made more money as an INSIDE LB Coach with SD than he did as a Defensive Coordinator) – but they have three former head coaches on the roster now.

    It boggles my mind why they’re not paying Forte. He IS their MVP on both sides of the ball right now, and should be for the next few years.

  18. He’s not a great runner but overall he does enough for the team offensively that they should extend him a new deal. It’s nice that if he’s having a slow day on the ground, he can still put up big numbers in the receiving game. It’s tough to pay big for backs in general, but it’s a little easier when they can do things other than take handoffs, because now you have to be good as a receiver and a blocker if you want to be a top RB.

  19. Oh, and his backup is making $2.875 million to his $600k. Bears and their front office are a joke. Glad to see a deserving franchise in Detroit zoom right past them. A team headed towards the toilet in the next few years as that defense is getting old and their qb will never be a true leader

    Thanks for your pointless troll comment. Detroit is deserving of nothing. Your fans have been as fair-weather as possible in their down years. Selling out the stadium is a small representation of the fans attitude. Most of you became completely apathetic and stayed off these boards and never wore jerseys, etc.

    Bears by 10 Monday night. Restore the purr, kittens fans!

  20. As a Bears fan, I don’t like Jerry Angelo. Haven’t been too enthused with his contracts, haven’t been too enthused with his philosophy (particularly on OL and WR – I would live with it if he drafted well overall, but he hasn’t done that).

    All that said … I’m not terribly upset with not giving Forte a long term deal. I wish him the best and hope he gets what he wants. That said, Forte’s going to be around 1100 rushing attempts by season’s end. Add in the receptions he’s gotten, along with the work he’s had to do in pass-pro, that’s a ton of wear and tear on a big running back.

    Typically, backs have around, what 7-8 years, roughly, of heavy usage before they start to slow down. This would be 4 years for Forte already, assuming no injuries this year. That’s a heavy, heavy workload already. If the Bears can afford franchising him the next year, or two, that is probably in the team’s best interests, unless Forte agrees to say, a 3 year deal (which seems unlikely).

    Running backs are the most fungible assets in pro football. The Redskins drafted a good looking kid in Roy Helu. Ryan Torain and Tim Hightower were 5th round picks.

  21. The Bears shouldn’t pay him.

    With Gore, CJ, AP, and DeAngelo all getting big contracts this season, it just goes to show that big pay days for running backs doesn’t translate into wins.

    Sure, Forte is the most effective offensive player for Chicago, but if 2400 yards this season translates into .500 record then why pay him?

    If the Bears end up in the playoffs again, offer him a big contract. If he doesn’t want to take the offer, then Franchise Tag him.

    In two seasons from now he’ll for sure be on the decline for two reasons: 1st he got paid, 2nd the shelf life for a feature back in the NFL is only about 5 years.

  22. Just give the man a one million dollar raise for this year. Then in the offseason, you can negotiate something longer term or franchise him. The team has room under the salary cap. Throw him a bone!

    He’s not a Darren McFadden, but he clearly is worth more than 600k.

  23. “Center Roberto Garza was asked if Forte took the team’s offensive linemen out to dinner after his 205-yard game.”

    Let’s be serious, the o-line should be taking Forte out to eat for making THEM look better. Imagine what he’d be doing with a decent o-line.

  24. The Bears had the offensive rookie of the year in Anthony Thomas and they brought in Thomas Jones.
    Jones wins the job and then they blow the 4th pick in the draft on Cedric Benson.
    The last thing they needed to draft was a RB.

    Benson is handed the job even though he did nothing to earn it and the Bears just give away Jones for a 3rd round pick and then trade away the pick as well.

    Jerry drafts Matt Forte in the 2nd round even though the team disparately needed to address the O line and the WR corps and Benson is cut so they get no compensation.
    The Bears sign Chester Taylor to back up Forte for a lot more money than they pay Forte and then they end up cutting him too.
    More money spent on the wrong players while the O line and WRs just look worse.

    Now they play hardball with their best offensive player and he will probably end up leaving with nothing in return and they will either draft yet another RB or depend on Bell and the apparently washed up Barber.

    THIS is Jerry Angelo.
    THIS is the kind of clueless nonsense he has been pulling since day one.
    THIS is why the Bears future looks so dim.

    I don’t want to see what the Bears look like in 2 or 3 years from now.
    They should have shown him the door after the 2009 season.

  25. Forte is far and away the Bears best player. I understand the thinking on veteran hb’s, but he’s young still. 5 years and about 35-40 million would be fair. If they don’t give him a better contract, it will scare off potential free agents, not to mention it will get the others on the team that are soon to be free agents to reconsider resigning in Chitown. If I were Forte, I would NOT sign the franchise tag after the year. He’s not under contract, so they won’t be able to fine him for not showing up to practices-meetings-and such. Hold out for better money Matt.

  26. They will sit, piss him off and he will end up leaving. Great move by our brain trust as usual. Hope he goes to Green Bay and destroys us every year. They should give peppers a bit more money, he has panned out great. Idiots!!

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