For those of you that know me, I am not what one would call exactly a card carrying member of the Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte fan club. I think Forte is a very good NFL running back, but I would hardly call him elite. But thanks to social media, Forte is earning the reputation of having an elite mouth.
All of this started when the Chicago Bears announced the signing of former Oakland Raiders running back Michael Bush. Forte took to to Twitter to air his grievances. Instead of being happy the Chicago Bears are trying to get better and more depth on offense (hello, it’s essentially why this team didn’t make the playoffs last season), Forte is looking out for number one. I certainly can appreciate a man’s need to feel important and fairly compensated for his work, but the Chicago Bears have placed the Franchise Tag on Forte guaranteeing him a little over seven million dollars next season. While I don’t know about you, but seven million dollars can go a long way. For those of you wondering about the Franchise Tag, The Chicago Bears have the option of placing it on Forte for the next two seasons. This would mean the team would have to guarantee him an average salary of the top five guys at his position or a raise of 120%.
Taking a step back, Forte is an important part of the Bears offense. He’s a good running back and an excellent receiver out of the backfield. But he’s a terrible blocker and not a good between the tackles back. He’s best when he can hit the edges on a run. All of this being said, he certainly is in the top ten of running backs in the NFL. While his statistics may speak a bit higher, let’s not forget that he’s had a few not-so-great-seasons as well as some really productive ones.
My biggest issue with Forte is his attitude. Current Chicago Bears General Manager Phil Emery needs to worry more about his roster than Matt Forte. By bringing in Bush along with former Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell and for Miami Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall, Emery is trying to fix the problems of last season. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that Caleb Hanie, Marion Barber and Roy Williams were HUGE problems last season. As big of a critic as I am of the Emery hiring, he deserves credit for bettering his football team.
I feel disrespected by Forte as a fan of the Chicago Bears. This team is starting to come together, and instead of enjoying the moment, Forte is being a whiny little baby about this whole process. If he has such an issue with the franchise tag and his original contract, perhaps he should quit the NFL and find another job that is going to pay him over seven million this season. Many are concerned that Forte will hold-out. I am pretty confident he won’t because of the heavy fines these guys pay when they refuse to report to camp. Since Forte is making this whole thing about money, my guess is that he won’t want to pay a fine.
In closing, I am sure all of this will work itself out. But in the meantime, keep it classy Matt!!!
Follow me on Twitter at ChicagoBearJew.