Matt Forte Needs To Take Lessons From Lance Briggs On How To Handle Himself

Heading into the NFL Draft here in just over a week, the Chicago Bears have already had a fantastic offseason. They’ve acquired a couple of big players, including Brandon Marshall and Michael Bush.

Yet, through all of this, there still remains one issue: Matt Forte.

Forte’s issues with his contract are nothing new. He’s been very open for the past couple of offseasons about receiving a new contract from the Bears, but to no avail. Many thought that the transition from one general manager to the new one, in Phil Emery, might change that.

But heading into this week’s voluntary workouts, Forte is still without a contract, as he’s under the franchise tag, and will not be in attendance for those workouts. It’s just another chapter in the ongoing Matt Forte Saga.

And while he initially had supporters, and still has many out there that are demanding that the Bears pay the man who is the major part of their offense, the way he has handled himself this offseason has turned many off to Forte.

That particularly relates to the social media area, where many athletes have tripped over their own ill advised words, with Forte being no exception. When the Bears announced the signing of Michael Bush, who is set to be the backup to Forte this year, he took to Twitter to explain his frustrations and the fact that he was feeling disrespected.

It might be time for Forte to start taking a little advice from Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, on how to carry himself during these times of wanting a new deal.

Twice we’ve heard of Briggs ready to request trades from the Bears because of contract issues, or Drew Rosenhaus requesting a trade, yet he’s still here and playing as well as he ever has. Once the season started, Briggs went out and played, and didn’t say another word. No holdouts, no social networking. And twice, Briggs has been rewarded with new deals, recently receiving a new one-year contract extension.

It’s time for Forte to follow that example. The Michael Bush signing took away even more leverage from him, considering that many figured Bush to seek a starting job somewhere. He has the chops to do it, and I’d go as far as saying Forte could even be expendable, for the right draft pick.

With Briggs, yes it was annoying at the time, as the fans feel it is anytime an athlete demands a new deal when his old one isn’t up yet. But the fact that Briggs went out and played, and we never heard about it again, has left it all in the past, and the fans love him again.

While I don’t believe that the Bears will have to resort to such desperate measures, Bears fans will not only be happy when a new deal comes for Forte not only because it means he’ll be around for the rest of his prime, but they won’t have to listen to him anymore, either.

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  • JB McFadden

    I think you are minimizing the behavior Lance Brigg’s and his agent displayed in order to obtain a new contact(s). Lance made it clear, in many ways, he was not happy and Matt Forte is doing the same.

    In addition, if I was Matt Forte I would feel disrespected as well. I believe Matt Forte’s behavior is justified and the Bears are being cheap (as usual) and are waiting to throw Matt on the used up running back pile because the Bears USED Matt as the centerpiece of a marginal offense (all due to MULTIPLE failures by Jerry and Lovie) with the volume of touches that Matt has had the past 4 years.

    What are the Matt Forte facts?

    Matt Forte has carried the Bears offense for the past 4 season.

    Matt Forte has taken a beating by being the centerpiece of an anemic offense.

    Matt Forte has played in 60 of 64 games, all behind a crap O-line.

    In the 60 games played, Matt Forte has:

    1,014 carries for 4,233 yards, for a 4.2 aver and 21 TD’s
    160 receptions for 1,508 yards, for a 9.4 aver and 8 TD’s

    Matt has been waiting and waiting for a new contract (The Bears take care of their own, right?) all the while seeing the Seahawks and Texas’s reward their premier backs. Matt’s frustration has boiled over and he has tweeted a few things some people don’t agree with and people start jumping on the guy? On that I say tough, Matt has produced (see above numbers) and has been a model player since day 1 and the REAL face of the Bears offense.

    Jerry, and now Phil, keep saying, the RB market is very difficult to define. I say bullsh*t. I say the Bears are being cheap (as stated above and will keep saying until they pay Matt).

    So let’s dive into the numbers, cuz that is what the reality is. Two premier tier running backs (Marshawn Lynch and Adrian Foster) received new contracts in the past month.

    As compared to Marshawn Lynch, over the same 4 year period, Matt has played in 16 more games, had 497 more carries, 1,842 rushing yards and 1 more rushing TD’s. In addition, Matt has 145 more receptions, 1,449 receiving yards and 7 more receiving TD’s.

    What did Marshon get last month? Marshawn Lynch received a 4 year, $31M contract with a $6M signing bonus. $11m guaranteed. And yes, it is front loaded.

    As compared to Adrian Foster, over the same 3 year period, Matt has played in 9 more games, had 39 more carries, 102 less rushing yards and 16 less rushing TD’s. In addition, Matt has 33 more receptions and 194 receiving yards. In addition, Adrian had the benefit of a much better Offense, specifically a better O-Line and real # 1 stud receiver in Andre Johnson, thus better the better red zone production.

    What did Adrian get last month? A 5 year, $43.5 million contract, including $20.75 million guaranteed.

    Why hasn’t Matt Forte been rewarded with a contract yet? The production is there, period. Matt is a solid guy, well respected and liked in the locker room. Go ask Lance.

    The comparables are there, which means the market is defined.

    Matt Forte has EARNED a new contract and if he wants to tweet, let him tweet, he has every right.

    Remember what Dikta and McMichael said TO THE MEDIA on the Bears or maybe Rant forgets or is too young and naive enough not to know history?)

    As far as missing off season work outs, Lance said it ‘Matt will do what he needs to do to be ready for the season’.

    It is time for the Bears to pay Matt Forte and prepare for a Super Bowl run, with a happy and focused team.

    The one thing Matt should learn from Lance is, don’t buy a Lamborghini when you do get paid.

    Thank you YAHOO Sports for the stats – Rant, it is time for you to grow up and understand the facts about the Matt Forte situation and business side of sports, because the Bears are unjustly playing hardball and Matt has every right to be mad as hell.

    • gilgerard

      Matt Forte turned down something like 18 million guaranteed- 7 million more than Lynch- which is a good offer. Running backs being paid huge amounts of money is bad strategy for the salary cap of an NFL team. Right Minnesota? RB’s get hit on every play, and therefore are the biggest liabilities. You don’t pay huge money for liability.

      Furthermore, I would argue it’s easier to develop a running back than it is a stud WR or QB. Right Demarco Murray?

      It is time for you to grow up and understand the position when it comes to the business of football.

      • JB McFadden

        Yo – Buck Rogers.

        In response to your comments:

        I have never heard, nor found any published reports talking on Forte being offered $18m guaranteed. Numbers I have heard range from 12 to 14m, maybe 15m, which is marginally more than the Lynch deal.

        I say put up or shut up on your “like 18M guaranteed”, cuz that is talking with out knowing (unless you have Cliff Stein on speed dial – you do know who Cliff Stein is, right?), which is not good. And saying ‘I heard the $18m on the Mike and Mike show’ does not count.

        With the Adrian Foster deal, are you calling the Texan’s bad cap managers? How about Tenn. w Chris Johnson $8m now guaranteed for 2012 & 2013. And what about the Rams paying Steven Jackson some $7m for the season?

        I never suggested the Bears throw stupid money at Forte (they never will and I know that), but teams are paying quality RBs big dollars and that is a strategy currently employed by multiple franchises in the NFL (and the boys from Houston will be in a super bowl run this year baring injuries), so if you want to call what, 6, 8, 10 NFL teams/GMs bad cap managers, go right ahead.

        I would argue that prudent contract structuring, with judicious terms are needed to go hand in hand with big $ deals. I also argued that Matt Forte has earned a quality contract offer from the Bears, but I am not going to get into that here.

        As far as your comment regarding RB’s as liabilities. I find this analogy short sighted, unilateral and downright dense.

        I can see it now. All NFL teams now announce their running backs as team liabilities that add no value to the team, and what each team has 3 or 4 of them.

        A better argument would be something like…..RB’s are assets, depreciating assets (you do know what a contra asset is, right), but an asset none the less. The depreciation kicks in by the volume of touches (and hits) the RB experiences. The tricky part, in my opinion, is understanding what the useful life and subsequent market value is of the RB once a contract is played out. That is the human element, one which players and teams often differ on. My opinion is the Bears are low balling Forte, as usual, and Forte is asking for the moon. All negotiation tactics.

        As far as the RB development goes, the Bears have not developed a quality skilled offensive player, let alone any player, in 15 years. Last guy I can think of that was undrafted free agent and went to the pro bowl was James ‘Big Cat’ Williams (You do know who that is, right?). And I do not see this changing anytime soon.

        Bottom line here, Bears have a 1 to 3 year window of opportunity to make deep runs in the playoff’s. And with Forte, a quality, multi dimensional back, who is able to play on 3 downs will only enhance the offensive capability and make it potentially scary good. To go along with the aging D, good things may happen. I would rather have a happy Matt Forte, than an unhappy franchised Matt Forte on the Offense. And so would the rest of the team. And so would the educated people of Bear nation.

        I know my business just fine. You on the other hand, need further education. I suggest Accounting 101 – Finance 201 and Investments 300, cuz I think you don’t know an asset from a hole in the ground.

        Oh, and I think it is cute how you came to the defense of your fellow vomit mouth blogger. Where is your voice in this Randy?

        Peace out Buck, as I am not coming back. The only reason I revisited is sight is one of my stupid friends suggested trading Forte while I was taking his money in a spades game and then became curious to see who responded. I am no longer curious about any content on this web sight.