Matt Forte’s season officially ended on Tuesday, so he won’t be able to join fellow first timers Charles Peanut Tillman and Corey Graham in the Pro Bowl. They’re among five Chicago Bears selected to represent the Beloved in the annual All Star exhibition. They will be joined by some regulars from the Bears roster – Brian Urlacher makes his eighth trip while fellow linebacker Lance Briggs makes his seventh appearance.
Forte accounted for about 40% of the Bears offense before his season ended in Week 12 against the Kansas City Chiefs. You’d better believe that his agents will be using his Pro Bowl selection to try to squeeze some more bucks out of the Bears if they don’t franchise him.
Another first timer that is sure to try to use his Pro Bowl status to get a better contract is special teams ace Corey Graham. He will be another UFA (Unrestricted Free Agent) after the season. I’m not sure what the going rate from special teams coverage guys is, so Graham had best not overvalue himself too much. The Bears had other notable coverage guys like Brendon Ayanbedejo and Tim Shaw under Special Teams coordinator Dave Toub, who should get a trip to Hawaii for all the guys that have been sent under his tutelage.
For Tillman this selection feels like a lifetime achievement award. Fellow Pro Bowlers had better watch their balls, because Tillman will certainly try to punch them out. Tillman has had a pretty good season and should thank a stellar performance against Calvin Johnson in the Bears’ rematch with the Lions in Week 10.
Don’t expect Urlacher and Briggs to actually suit up for the game. They’re in it for the bonus check. Don’t look for Hester or Peppers to go to Hawaii. In my book, they’re among the NFC’s biggest snubs.