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.