Matt Forte Wants a New Contract

Matt Forte will be playing for a new contract in 2011

Thanks to Sean Jensen’s latest Inside the Bears post, we get some insight into Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte’s appearance on Maurice Jones-Drew’s Sirius XM radio show.  After a little back and forth between the friend on Jones-Drew’s Jay Cutler Twitter-gate, Forte chimed in on his contract status with the Bears:

“I hope the Bears feel I deserve a new contract,” Forte said. “This league is based on production, and the last three years, I’ve produced very well for our offense. I think production speaks for itself.”

Let’s take a look at Forte’s production since 2008 after the jump.

The guys at Pro Football Focus ranked the top 10 running backs from 2008 – 2010 and guess what, Matt Forte was not on the list.   If you look at Football Outsiders’ rankings, where they look at Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement (DYAR), Forte ranks 20th among players like Joseph Addai and Fred Jackson.  If you consider third down efficiency, Forte ranked dead last.

I’m not saying the kid doesn’t deserve a new contract.  In fact, after running behind the Bears’ offensive line last season, he deserves a medal.  Let’s face it, the shelf life on all but the most elite NFL running backs is less than 5 years.  The Tulane product is a good player and a great person, but he’s far from elite.   If the Bears sign him to a new deal, they had better keep it short and lower end and not overspend on an average ball carrier.

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