Matt Forte’s agent calls durability concerns absurd

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Matt Forte let a video do some talking for him in response to reports that the Bears are using concerns about his knees as a way to avoid giving him a long-term contract.

Running uphill with 100 pounds strapped to your body is fairly compelling, but Forte’s agent isn’t letting that be the only comment on the matter. Adisa Bakari joined his client in expressing outrage at implications that his knees can’t hold up to the pounding they will take in future seasons as a running back.

“Matt Forte is among the most, if not the most, durable, all-purpose running back in the NFL,” Bakari said, via Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times. “The 2011 season was the first season of his career that he missed any games. Had the Bears been play-off contenders, he could have returned for the balance of the season. To question his durability at this stage in his career is absurd.”

While it is true that Forte missed his first NFL games last season, it wasn’t the first time that he’s had knee problems. He tore the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee at Tulane and sprained the medial collateral ligament in the same knee during the 2009 season. Last year’s sprained MCL was in the right knee, which means that there are now questions about the fitness of each knee.

That reality matters more than the amount of games that Forte has missed over the past four years when it comes to making a decision about a long-term extension. Forte and Bakari might not think that’s fair, but it’s increasingly looking like the reality in Chicago.

30 responses to “Matt Forte’s agent calls durability concerns absurd

  1. Well if his agent says he’s durable how could you not believe that?? All this knee crap started from an anonymous source in the Bears organization. It was probably some no name guy that said we are concerned about Forte’s knee since they haven’t seen him practice since the injury and the whole thing got blown out of proportion.

  2. IF my team expressed concern about the wear and tear on my body my first responce wouldnt be how im abusing my body even more by running with 100lb sleds… JUST SAYING

  3. ADISA BAKARI…hmmmmmm

    Thought he was one of Sadam Hussein’s chief assistants. Maybe he slipped by customs when they weren’t looking.

  4. Forte and the Bears are in a horrible position. Forte absolutely deserves a big payday of some kind, either the $7.7 million franchise tag or a longer contract with big money. The trouble is, he plays arguably the most expendable position in the NFL and one that many offenses are simply not valuing. The Bears are trying to not making the same mistake the Vikings made a few seasons ago with Adrian Peterson. Is AP a good enough talent to merrit that huge, $100 million contract the Vikings gave him? Probably. But was that a smart move by the Vikings? Almost certainly not. That deal has handicapped the Vikings from being able to sign other players to build around because they have so many resources tied into a position that, quite frankly, is becoming obsolete. While you can’t replace talents like AP or Forte with just anybody, you can absolutely find a running back who can produce for you for much less money than these guys are worth. Another potential hang-up with Forte could be the years. Now, I’m just a fan, I have no insider info whatsoever. It’s possible that the Bears might only want to give Forte a 4-year deal because he’d be 30 at the end of that deal. Meanwhile, Forte wants a 5 or 6-year deal. Most running backs start to fade around 28 or 29, making a 4-year deal more sensible for the Bears but Forte is after the insurance of those extra years. Bottom line, is Forte worth a 5-year, $40 million deal with $20 million garunteed? Almost certainly. Does it make sense for the Bears to give him that deal? No, it does not and there’s the problem.

  5. I wonder if Adisa Bakari is going to re-embusre Forte for the money he lost for his client from last year when Matt made a mere $550K when he could have made over 5 mil. Seems to me that Bakari is stubborn . Who’s loosing out? Matt Forte is looking like the big looser to me. The offer the Bears had on the table was fair for Forte. Just not for Bakari.

  6. Forte you can request a trade or hold out and stay healthy in 2012 for FA in ’13. Either way they offered a decent dollar.

  7. This is just his agent slithering through the grass. They would say anything to get their players signed to a big deal. Just look at the history of RBs getting paid top dollar- CJ was garbage last season, Charles got injured, AP got injured, Deangelo Williams sucked and was under utilized. The list is endless. The Bears have a right to tag anyone according to the new CBA, which was agreed upon by the players and their freakin’ union. Forte has a right to be petulant by responding to unconfimed reports about his knees. He also has the right to holdout for as long as he wants, but along with that is a huge price. I can guarantee that he won’t make 7.7 million next season if he holds out for this season. Him and his agent have no leg to stand on. Either get paid very well this season, continue to show your worth, or holdout and don’t get paid a dime. Your choice Matt. I’m seriously tired of this garbage day in and day out.

  8. Matt and his agent are looking like greedy pigs i don’t blame the bears for taking the stance ,Matt does have knee issue it’s old news.There are NO teams will give up draft picks for him he has liability issues stand your ground bears ,if he doesn’t want 7.7 let him his agent suffer

  9. Matt Forte needs to be traded but there won’t be any takers for him his agent has done him a disservice i would fire him .I will say this I’ve lost a lot of respect for matt with all the whining he is doing .Elite back you are not ,just take a good look at short yardage you are awful you can’t create space at all most elite backs can do that sir you can’t

  10. Of course Forte’s agent is going to say that his durability isn’t a concern! It’s all about the money. What’s he gonna do? Tell the truth? People fail to remember the big picture, this is first a BUSINESS! The Bears have every right to be concerned about a players durability for the future. It’s their money! They have a franchise to look out for. Forte has the right to go after the big payday as well, but he also has to realize, it ain’t all about him either. Forte is feeling the fallout because he chose to be a stubborn, egotistical moron when the Bears offered him a deal a few months ago and he said no. The Bears did what any good organization would do and didn’t sit on their hands and went out and signed Michael Bush. They made the decision not to be held hostage by Forte and I applaud them for it. If these players are so entitled to the big payday and aren’t happy when they don’t get it, I say, welcome to the real world. Life ain’t fair. If you aren’t getting what you feel you’re entitled to, go buy your own team and see what people like you put these owners through!

  11. Bears fan here…

    1. Running up a hill with one hundred pounds on your back only proves that your knee is fine now. It says nothing about whether they will hold up for the next 4 years.

    2. Forte has been very durable so far. But the Bears aren’t paying him for how durable and productive he was, they are paying for how durable and productive they think he will be.

    3. Most RBs hit steep decline around age 28. Forte will be 27 this season, and has logged more carries (I think around 2,000 between college and the pros) than most RBs his age. History doesn’t like his chances of maintaining health and productivity for the next 4 years.

    4. If Forte stays healthy and productive this season, he will earn 17+ mil over the next season (since they will franchise him again if he stays healthy and plays well). So he’d make nearly as much money in the next 2 years as he’s looking for guaranteed in his contract. All he has to do is play well the next 2 years to do it. That he is throwing this big a fit about it doesn’t suggest that he feels all that confident that he’ll play well the next few seasons. And if he isn’t confident about it, why should the Bears be?

  12. @chwtom: The Bears CAN’T franchise him again!!!! If he doesn’t re-sign after this year, he’ll be an unrestricted free-agent. I agree with your post for the mostpart however.

  13. chwton before you post a comment get the facts right even if matt decide not to play this year the bears still own the rights to matt forte ….get the facts before you post

  14. chwton read the new cba agreement if forte doesn’t show he void his free agent status for next year so that said bear has the cards on there side

  15. Lol that’s messed up….look at my Niners we still gave Frank Gore an extension even after he had hip surgery after he fractured it….Damn I luv my Niners trust is everything ..hope forte gets his money cause its a damn shame if the bears don’t pay him….Go Niners

  16. He was offered a really nice, long term deal not once but twice and he turned it down.
    I remember a lot of people saying that the Bears could have drafted Forte in the 3rd round and they should have went with an O lineman with their 2nd pick that year.

    Now they bitch about the Bears NOT playing this stupid game with Forte’s agent?
    He is NOT going to pass on almost $8 million to play this year and they can franchise him again next year if they want to.
    He blew his chance at the long term deal so just take your millions and play the damn game already.

  17. Forte has a problem. His team doesn’t view him as worth as much as he does himself. There are alot of players that have this problem.

    He has played well, really well. Does he deserve a raise, yes he does. Does he deserve CJ or AP money, quite frankly no he doesn’t. There aren’t any running backs that deserve that money, not even the 2 that got it. Therein lies the problem.

    His agent has been telling him how much he can make on the open market, but he hasn’t been watching how the market has been playing out.

    5 yrs, 40 million with 20 million guaranteed I think I saw someone say. That I think would be fair for both sides.

    Should be interesting to see how it goes.

  18. *** bearsfankarnik87 ***

    I have to disagree with a few points you touched on and wonder why more & more fans are starting to subscribe to such absurd notions!!

    1) The RB position is only an expendable one if you have little use for a dynamic runner & you have zero need for your RB to be a pass catcher from the backfield or slot. This would mean that your offense is one dimensional and that is what every team fears becoming the most!! It’s true that the league is more pass happy than ever but if you have a poor running game then you’re easy to defend (except the most elite passing attacks, only 3 in the past decade). The position is far from obsolete!!

    2) the Bears are trying not to make the same mistake that the Vikes made paying AP soo much.. The two situations are not even comparable! The Bears have no other pressing business to take care of at the moment, Forte is the only position they have not raved about. Also, the Bears or Forte are talking about a $100 million contract! Probably more like half that money total, annually & guaranteed. The other thing that really blows me away is that it would be STUPID EASY for the Bears to structure the deal in a way that they’re not vulnerable to big loss if Forte only lasted another 2-3 years! Not like they’ll be forced to honor the remainder of the contract, if they wanted they could cut him & suffer only a small cap hit. If they offered him a fair guaranteed amount and made the salary escalate toward the latter years then they would still get his most productive years at a bargain, & have a decision to make on the last couple years as to wether or not to keep him.

    3) this is not a deal soo big that it will prohibit the team from continuing to grow & get better thru free agency. I don’t see this to be anything like what the Vikes did to themselves with the AP contract!

  19. Forte deserves to be paid for services rendered, but he won’t be.
    The bears brought in Bush for a reason. Forte should be asking for his release and hope a lower tier team throws some cash his way. Either way, it’s a shame that RBs get no love, but it’s the nature of the beast.

  20. I laugh at these blood sucking agents. Who cares if he’s pissed. The problem here is that Forte got hurt at the absolute worst time for him. If he had stayed healthy they would have had to lean on him even more without Cutler and then he would have been in the drivers seat. Now, with Marshall and Jeffrey it is obvious they will depend more on the pass. Why spend millions on a 15 play back? I hope he plays this year and has a great season, then his choices will be make almost 10 mm or be a FA. Then we’ll see what the league thinks he’s worth and if his absense hurts the Bears. I’d be really pissed if I could only make 7.7 mm this year.

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