The Chicago Bears officially put an end to Jay Cutler and Matt Forte’s seasons on Tuesday, sending the starting backfield mates to Injured Reserve. It marks the end of an unfulfilled season that started with high hopes that was on track to be each players’ best as a Bear.
Cutler ends the season with just over 2300 yards, completing 58% of his passes including 13 touchdowns and 7 interceptions in just 10 games. He had emerged from last season’s controversial exit from the NFC Championship Game to lead the Bears to a 5 game winning streak, during which the offense was averaging over 32 points per game.
As for Forte, he finishes just 3 yards short of a 1000 yard rushing season. Even though he’s missed nearly 4 full games, he’s still among the top 7 in the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 1489 yards. He’s also the Bears’ leader in receptions with 52.
There’s a dark cloud hanging over Forte’s future with the Bears. It’s no secret that Forte wants a big contract extension from the Bears, but they haven’t exactly put a deal to his liking in from of him yet. It’s been reported that he left $14 million guaranteed on the table, seeking more up front money. If the Bears choose to, they could put the Franchise Tag on Forte, keeping him around for 2012 at about $8 million.
I think Forte will be back next season. The Bears have too many other holes to fill to go trying to find a #1 running back on top of a growing free agent and draft shopping list.