Is this really all that’s been holding up long term contract talks between the Chicago Bears and Matt Forte? A measly $20 million guaranteed? According to a recent tweet form Evan Silva via ESPNs John Clayton, Matt Forte is looking for $20,000,000 guaranteed (sorry, sometimes I just like to write that number out) and job security.
Um, good luck buddy, this is the NFL where teams chew up running backs quicker than any other position. If this were 20 years ago, Forte would be in line for top dollar, but in today’s NFL the position doesn’t carry the type of importance it once did. It’s unfortunate, but that’s the reality.
Matt Forte is looking at a few of his contemporaries getting some big contracts. Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, and LeSean McCoy all recently signed for large money. But Peterson and Johnson are better backs than Forte and McCoy is a few years younger. Not a real good comparison in my opinion. Then there’s the recent fat deals handed out to Marshawn Lynch and DeAngelo Williams. Both backs probably a tick below Forte talent wise, but the Bears can’t allow two teams to set the running back market by overpaying for their guys.
Forte has the franchise tag on the table for around $7.7 million and a longer term offer on the table with terms undisclosed, although early reports had the deal in the $15 million guaranteed range. The Bears could tag him again for the 2013 season for about $9 million and some change. So they technically have his rights for at least the next two years. All the leverage lies with the Bears in this situation.
While I agree with Forte holding out for as much money as possible, I just don’t see the Bears caving. Ever. Matt Forte will either sign what the Bears are offering or he’ll sit out the 2012 season. Then how much would he stand to lose?