Chicago Bears Should Trade “Disrespected” Matt Forte

Nov 20, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) runs with the ball during the second half against the San Diego Chargers at Soldier Field. The Bears defeated the Chargers 31-10. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

Before you click away from this post as just a stunt, please hang with me as I explain why I think the Bears need to trade disgruntled running back Matt Forte.

Upon hearing that the Bears signed Michael Bush to a 4-year, $14 million deal, Forte took to the Twitterverse to express his displeasure:

 

Sign me up for $7.7 million of “finishing last.”  Does he realize that most of his fans will never see that much money is a couple of lifetimes?  That wasn’t the end of his ranting:

 

But wait, there’s more…

 

And finally…

 

Count me among those who hate it. I can’t deal with another season of the #PayForte movement.  Hit the jump to see why they should send the disrespected Forte packing.

Let’s preface this by saying I have all the respect in the world for Matt Forte.  He’s a hell of a football player and his given this team all they’ve asked of him and more.   But it’s clear that Forte is unhappy and at this point, he’s basically a 2-year rental.

Forte had all the leverage in the world last preseason when he was unhappy about his contract status and Marion Barber was hurt.  That was the time for a power play to force Jerry Angelo and the Bears to the bargaining table.  Instead, Forte chose to be the good soldier and play.  Yes, I know that’s a good thing and I appreciate it.  But Forte missed his chance to twist the Bears’ arm into a long term deal and instead chose to reject $14 million guaranteed.  Now he expects everyone to feel sorry for him?  I don’t cry for millionaires.

While it’s true that Forte accounted for nearly half of the Bears’ offense last season, that was while doing his very best Marshall Faulk impression in Mike Martz’s offense.  What will Mike Tice’s offense bring?  Is Forte the type of runner that Tice wants?  Will Tice have designs to get Forte the ball in the passing game like Martz did?

The game is changing.  It’s a passing league now and running backs just aren’t as valuable as they used to be.  The Bears recognize that; it’s why Jerry Angelo traded for Jay Cutler and his successor Phil Emery traded for Brandon Marshall.  A ,major reason why Forte was such a big part of the Bears offense is because they had no other reliable weapons.

If the Bears don’t think they can come to terms with Forte, they should trade him.  He’s coming off a Pro Bowl season and his value will never be higher.  Would the Cleveland Browns, who lost Peyton Hillis to Free Agency, be willing to part with one of their two first round picks to get Forte?  What if the Bears could put a deal together to get the #4 pick for Forte?  Would top wide receiver Justin Blackmon be worth it?

If the Bears trade Forte, they also free up some $7.7 million from the salary cap.  That’s money they could use to patch up other positions like defensive end, offensive line and safety.

I would love to see Matt Forte in a Bears uniform for years to come, but he’s painted himself into a corner.  I think he’s getting some bad advice from his representatives and is heading for an ugly standoff with the Bears, who hold all the cards.  #PayForte?  I say #TradeForte!

What do you think?  Is Forte irreplaceable?  If the Bears could get a high round pick, would it change your opinion?  Am I just an idiot???  Vote in our poll and let’s hear your comments.

Shoud the Bears trade Matt Forte?

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  • YoungB_LLR

    @bearsbuzztap I’m Finna unfollow yo ass just for tweeting that dumb shit give @MattForte22 his bread

  • DeCon76

    Boom…i get all your points and NO ONE is irreplaceable, but since the Bears have the ability to franchise him again in 2013, i think you forgot an additional answer for your multiple choice…
     
    Yes, if there Bears could get multiple picks for Forte, including a high first rounder
     
    Sure, for a ton of picks it would obviously be worth it.  My point is Forte is backed into a corner and the Bears have all the leverage.  That would include leverage with other teams for a trade.  One high first round pick this year is definitely not enough for a Pro Bowl RB, I dont care how much the game has changed.  I am not saying you are gonna get a Herschel Walker or Ricky Williams deal for him, but the answer might be somewhere in between.
     
    My vote is if the Bears really feel in their heart of hearts, a deal can’t happen, they would be foolish not to try to maximize his trade value.  The reality, neither DeCon or Boomer is lead negotiator in the Matt Forte discussions, so there is only one question, what will Phil Emery do?  Right now, it is a high stakes hold’ em game and Emery has pocket aces, pre-flop.  How he plays his hand will be very interesting…
     
    oh, and I voted that you’re an idiot, cuz you’re…MY GUY!!!

  • http://www.beardownone.blogspot.com/ Beardownone

    Idiot may be a bit strong but I don’t see any team giving more then a 3rd round pick for Forté. You said it yourself that running backs don’t carry the importance they once did. That’s why the Bears got Bush no one was offering him a starting job only part of a two back system. I think Fortè holds more value to the Bears then any other team. Not to mention any attempt to trade him would be met with teams looking for a steel much the same as the Brandon Marshell trade was. Like it or not on both sides they are tied together. I am sure that a deal will get done that neither side will be entirely happy with but be able to live with. And even if he is a two year rental like you said your getting his best years anyway as we all know NFL running backs decline starts hard and fast around 30. So I say keep him unless the browns are dumb enough to send the #4 pick our way which I doubt.

  • http://www.beardownone.blogspot.com/ Beardownone

    I meant steal just so I don’t look as dumb as I am

  • jrock6969

    I.agree %100 trade him he is no.Walter payton yea.he has high numbers but every other great running back with the same numbers did it with half.as.many carrys. And as far as pay the man I’m pretty sure they are 7mil isn’t chump change
    Jamie

  • deepsix

    I would have to agree with this. I can’t stand listening to this guy cry all year again over 7.7 million as I lace up my work boots every morning. Especially after his no hurry to get back mentality last season with his knee injury.

  • Dbl J

    Boom, first of all, I’m sorry you lost such a great follower on twitter thanks to this post….
    Second, I used to feel as if Forte carried himself off the field with more class than most of his other collegues, and I respected that.  But all that respect is gone now.  Whining like a bitch on twitter is a characteristic of neither a team leader nor a winner.
    This season is Forte the guy the offense is going to be built around?
    If the answer to that is no, and there is some value to be found in moving him, I think the trade is an easy call.
     

  • vrquinton

    I’ll drink the Kool-Aid with you Boomer. While I love Forte as a player and is the only Bears jersey I own, I do think he was a bit of a product of the Martz Back Happy Offense and not sure if anyone remembers but was in a bit of a slump the last few full games he did play.  It will be very interesting to see what happens with Tice actually using TE’s again and not sending Cutler out on a suicide mission known as a 7 step drop.
     
    I think the ideal scene would be to make Forte a Bear for life but if he is going to piss and moan about the contract that was previously offered not being up to par and now the tag of $7.7 Mil not being enough it may be best to trade him for a couple of high round picks if possible and use those picks for an additional deep threat receiver and DE/LB/CB.
     
    I love the Bears and love football, but I can’t stand to see players act like this when they get paid millions to play A GAME!  

  • vrquinton

    I’ll drink the Kool-Aid with you Boomer. While I love Forte as a player and is the only Bears jersey I own, I do think he was a bit of a product of the Martz Back Happy Offense and not sure if anyone remembers but was in a bit of a slump the last few full games he did play.  It will be very interesting to see what happens with Tice actually using TE’s again and not sending Cutler out on a suicide mission known as a 7 step drop.
     
    I think the ideal scene would be to make Forte a Bear for life but if he is going to piss and moan about the contract that was previously offered not being up to par and now the tag of $7.7 Mil not being Kosher it may be best to trade him for a couple of high round picks if possible and use those picks for an additional deep threat receiver and DE/LB/CB.
     
    I love the Bears and love football, but I can’t stand to see players act like this when they get paid millions to play A GAME!  
     

  • JerryRichardson

    I think the Bear’s Org has forced Matt to speak up and try to get the answers now regarding his value and importance to this team’s long range goals. But, I do think to publicly cry about getting paid 7.7 million dollars to play football is also disgusting and DISRESPCTFUL to the fans who will never see that type of $$$$ and never be able to even go to a single game because of the costs. If Mtt Fortee is that unhappy in Chicago and that greedy for $$$$$….then HE should man up nd request to be traded!

  • Obnxs1

    Come on, Boom.  Third time they bring in a washed up, over priced “backup” to a guy who’s done nothing but produce and carry himself with dignity and class and you advocate trading him?  Angelo bumbled and stumbled through the talks with him last year and all but promised to get a deal done.  So Forte comes to camp instead of holding out and ends up getting screwed over for doing the right thing.  All along the speculation has been that 18 million would have gotten the deal done with Forte.  Well they have to dish out 8 million for him this year, they sign Bush for 14 million, let’s say 5 of that guaranteed, and they paid Taylor 7 for his single year…  That’s 20 million right there before you even figure in what that idiot Barber got last year.
     
    The Bears need to get their asses to the table and get Forte signed to a long term deal because they obviously struck gold in spite of themselves and they need to keep him.  Barber, Taylor, Bensen, Kevin Jones…  Yea, they’ve got a GREAT track record at picking up free agent RBs.  I’m not holding my breath on the newest one.

  • Obnxs1

     @vrquinton They get paid millions to ENTERTAIN.  So do the top actors, musicians, and other entertainers.  The reality of it is they do a job that has a VERY limited number of positions and only the absolute best of the best are “hired”.  Therefore they should be paid accordingly.  To you it’s just a game, to them it’s a job and one that they’re ALWAYS fighting to keep AND has very short lifespan AND could end in literally a fraction of a second AND has long term after effects AND…I hope you see the point here.

  • RobSchwarzJr

    I agree with Boom, but only if you can convince the Browns to give up the #4 pick.  I would not do it for the #22 pick.  I think Brandon Jacobs is still on the market, so you could have Jacobs and Bush as your RB’s this year which sound good enough to me.  If you were able to draft Blackmon @ #4, you are going to have a great WR duo for Cutler.  I do not think Chicago will be a 65% of the time passing team.  However, I could see it more like 55%/45% and having Blackmon and Marshall on the outside with Bennett in the slot is ideal! 
     
    For those of you who don’t think we should trade him, this is about winning a superbowl, not catering to the players.  I love Forte both on and off the field, however I think he should have taken the deal they offered him last year and be done with it. 
     
    To prove my point further, lets look at the teams who have been in SuperBowl contention lately.  Green Bay, they bring RB’s in off the street.  New England, one name, Danny Woodhead!  The Saints had a carousel of RB’s on their roster.  The Giants had a good tandem in Jacobs and Bradshaw, but neither of them are great.  I can’t think of the last time a team was in the SuperBowl who had a top 5 RB.  The game has changed and the value of RB’s are declining.  I would not give Forte a deal greater than 32 million over 4 years with 15million guaranteed.  That would be 8 million a season and worth more than what the RB position deserves.  If he declines that, sorry Matty, there’s the door!!  

  • AJxMadness

    Browns would probably give their 22nd pick and their second  rounder. no way they give up the #4 overall pick. that would be stupid

  • deepsix

    @RobSchwarzJr Excellent points. I fully agree with everything said. Especially about prior super bowl teams not having elite running backs. I really dont think forte is an elite back anyways, but clearly that’s the kind of paycheck he wants.

  • BearGogglesOn

     @DeCon76 As always, love the glancing A Few Good Men reference and the good insight.  I’m not sure what you get for him, but think about getting a 3rd rounder from Carolina for Olsen.  A Pro Bowl running back has to be worth quite a bit more. 

  • BearGogglesOn

     @Beardownone As I mentioned to DeCon, the Bears got a third rounder for Olsen.  A Pro Bowl RB has to be worth more.  I just think both sides can come out winners in this if the Bears can find a willing trading partner.  Forte gets paid and the Bears get another draft pick in the fold that they can control for cheap money for the next few years.  Otherwise, you drop about $18 million on Forte’s two tags and let him walk to try to find a long term deal with his best years as a RB behind him.

  • BearGogglesOn

     @deepsix I don’t blame Forte for not rushing back last season, but I agree, I can’t deal with another season of whining and complaining.

  • BearGogglesOn

     @Dbl J Good point.  The offense was kind of built around Forte last season.  This year, it’s Brandon Marshall’s show.  Bush will give you enough to keep defenses honest; plus he prides himself on his pass blocking, which is much needed.

  • BearGogglesOn

     @Obnxs1  @vrquinton Obnxs if you walked into your workplace and your manager called you into his office and had $14million on the table, would you walk away or would you sign the deal as fast as possible?  To keep it real, if you were getting 1200% raise like Forte did this season ($550k ->$7.7 million), would you be complaining?  Most of us are happy to get a 2-3% cost of living adjustment every couple of years. 

  • BearGogglesOn

     @JerryRichardson Thanks Jerry.  Totally agree.  Forte has overpaid his sympathy card. 

  • BearGogglesOn

     @Obnxs1 I disagree that Bush is washed up.  Unlike Taylor and Barber, Bush is still on the upswing of his career. 
     
    The Bears have been sitting at the bargaining table with a giant pile of money all of last season, but Forte has overvalued himself based on a dumb contract that the Panthers gave DeAngelo Williams. 

  • BearGogglesOn

     @AJxMadness Would you trade Forte for the #22 pick straight up?

  • http://www.beardownone.blogspot.com/ Beardownone

    @BearGogglesOn In theory he is worth more but with this being as public as it is teams are going to be lookin to get him on the cheap. Even if none of that was the case you can’t tell me he is worth even a top ten pick let alone a top five. I just don’t see teams valuing him that high. So unless it’s a move that can put you in position to move up with a late first rounder you can package to move up I think they need to stick with him

  • BearGogglesOn

    @Beardownone good point. Value goes down with publicity this has gotten. Would you trade forte and #19 to move up to #4?

  • http://www.beardownone.blogspot.com/ Beardownone

    @BearGogglesOn I think you would have to make that move.
    You could get

    Blackman or if he’s gone take Matt Kalil, but if you do that you have to go offense I think I don’t know that any defensive player is worth the fourth pick this year. But yes I would make that trade all day.

  • vrquinton

     @BearGogglesOn  @Obnxs1 I see your point Obnxs1. I did have a job working with hazardous materials and accidents could be fatal – still not much sympathy though.

  • vrquinton

     @BearGogglesOn  @DeCon76 Ok, so if the heart of the Bears front office is not there and a team offers to cough up at least a 2nd round pick, do you jump on it?

  • TomSchwarz

     @BearGogglesOn It depends on how I valued my own worth.  If I figured I was a 20 million dollar worker, I would not take 14 million.

  • deepsix

    @BearGogglesOn @Obnxs1 Overvalued is right. Where is he on all the 3rd and 1 plays? To me that defines the value of a RB for the most part.

  • JohnnyNacho

    i agree that the league has turned into a passing league….however, the bears are wanting to win a championship by running the ball and play defense and big play potential w/ the passing game.  that’s lovies style.  26 year old pro bowl running backs don’t grow on trees.  you have another 3-4 productive years out of forte.  pay him the money which would shore up your backfield for the next 4 years.  how many teams would love to have that position taken care of…..
     
    you’re not going to get a top 5 pick for him so that idea can leave the building right now.
     
    he’s homegrown guy that we drafted…..we look like turds for not paying him the long term deal

  • flowermike

    I don’t understand you Boomer. We watch management fill our roster with incompetent veterans and pay them so much more than Forte and you take such a weak stance on Matt. 
     
    He’s grossly out performed his deal and then you take both sides of the fence regarding his playing last year as good faith. Why does Bush deserve a 4 year deal and 90% of our offense deserves your derision????
     
    Why can’t Chicago support Forte?
     
    Unbelievable. Haugh clowns him. Boomer piles on and then ends with the trite cliche Bear Down. Pffffftttt…..
     
     

  • Obnxs1

     @BearGogglesOn  @vrquinton There are exactly 31 other people in the WORLD who can do what Forte does.  Hell, even then I would argue it’s really more like 15 tops, but there are 32 positions for that job.  Lucky for him he’s one miniscule percentage that can actually do it and he should be paid accordingly.  Especially considering how flat out terrible the Bears have been at picking RBs.  It’s pure dumb luck that Angelo hit on him considering how horrible he was at evaluating talent.  And with the fiasco last year regarding his contract I’m willing to bet Bush got a bunch of that contract money up front.  I know I wouldn’t trust this organization to take care of me after watching that debacle.

  • teejaysplace

    I don’t wholly disagree – Matt Forte would be worth the number 4 overall pick.  A pick that high either nets you a bona fide impact player or allows you to trade back a few spots and get a wheelbarrow of picks in return.   That’s how the Cowboys did it with Hershel Walker.  But that was then and this is today and I’m not sure a running back, even a pro bowler, is worth that much anymore.  I also don’t think you can hope to replace Forte’s production with the 22nd overall pick, unless you happen to be taking someone like Randy Moss.  So barring any other teams allowing the Bears to accost them on the trade market (I’m looking at you, Dolphins and Broncos), I think Forte is worthing hanging onto.  Not only would you likely not get an equal return on your investment in terms of offensive production, but Forte is one of the few clear  advantages that Chicago has over Green Bay and Detroit.  Because of his versatility, teams have to plan for him, both on the ground and in the air.  He’s difficult for linebackers to cover and he’s difficult for defensive backs to tackle.  Clearly, it’s a passing league and Forte can’t do it all, but all other things being equal, he could definitely be the one who tips the scales in Chicago’s favour. 

  • Obnxs1

     @BearGogglesOn  @vrquinton 1 – It’s not a 1200% increase IMO considering what he should have made last year after Angelo all but promised to get a deal done.  So he lost that money right off the top of that.
     
    2 – If I thought my value was worth 1500%, you bet your ass I’d walk out of there and go get my 1500% somewhere else.  It’s not like he can take the raise and then explore his options, it’s a contract.
     
    3 – Yes, Forte screwed up by not sitting out last year.  But hindsight’s 20/20 and honestly up until this whole deal the Bears had been pretty good about paying their guys.
     
    4- Forte sat quietly ALL last year when asked about the situation.  He only answered questions on it when he was absolutely pressed to answer them.  He was the better man last year and look what it got him.  If your boss crapped on you for a year then sat you down and said, “Here’s 1200% but I’m probably gonna crap on you again all through next year AND the first six months of the one after that, unless of course you get any kind of hurt, in which case I’m gonna crap on you right out the door”; would it be worth it to you?

  • Obnxs1

     @deepsix  @BearGogglesOn  @Obnxs1 He’s getting stuffed behind that horrible offensive line just like every other RB they’ve brought in.
     
    Bush was a backup and only played last year because starter was out.  How is that on the upswing?  Exactly the same thing could’ve been said about Taylor and Barber.  And we know how well those worked out.

  • teejaysplace

     @deepsix  @RobSchwarzJr I disagree with that somewhat, Rob.  I’m not sure you can say Forte is an elite back, but I think he’s certainly an elite player.  He’s not a running back in the mould of AD or Barry Sanders, who’ll net you 2000 rush yards a season; however anytime a single player accounts for more than 50 percent of your offense, he’s definitely got something going on.  In fact, statistically, he could easily account for 2000 all purpose yards in a season, which is something neither Peterson or Sanders could likely do.  In many ways, Forte is much more suited to today’s NFL, as he can act as such a vital part of the passing game; whereas a lot the “elite” backs of yesteryear were more-or-less one trick ponies.  Personally, if I was building an offense from scratch and I had to pick one tailback in the NFL, it would probably be Matt Forte.  That’s not fan bias, but in my opinion, there’s little else you could ask of a player, both on and off the field, that Forte hasn’t provided. 

  • teejaysplace

     @Obnxs1  @BearGogglesOn  @vrquinton
     
    The problem with this logic, though, is it ignores market value.  I know that’s an obnoxious term to hear when you’re a working-stiff fan, but consider the analogy.  If your boss hauls you in and says I’m going to give you a 1200% raise, it sounds great.  That is, until you find out that your buddy Joe, who comes in late and never files his TPS reports on time, just got a 2000% raise.  Suddenly, you start to wonder what you have to do to get a 2000% raise and think that maybe you should go to work for Joe’s company instead.  Now if every company paid their running backs a flat $14 mil, there wouldn’t be a problem.  But they don’t and so there is.   Kind makes you wonder what football would have been like in Communist Russia.  

  • Obnxs1

     @teejaysplace  @BearGogglesOn  @vrquinton In Communist Russia, football plays you.
     
    Sorry, had to be done.

  • cwaune_50

    I’ll take trent richardson in a heart beat over matt forte.

  • teejaysplace

     @Obnxs1  @BearGogglesOn  @vrquinton Yeah, I left someone wide open for that. 
     

  • jrock6969

     @flowermike   Why should anyone in Chicago get behind Forte. He has shown he has some talent but he is not an Elite back and that’s why he is not going to be paid like one. I hope he pouts and decides to hold out so Bush can come in and play. Whatever happened to the LOVE OF THE GAME.. Sorry I refuse to support someone who is making $7.7 million and still wants to cry. As far as Boomer ending with Bear Down!! Hell Yea!! Bear Down and get rid of Fragile Forte before someone Hurts his million dollar Ego some more…

  • cwaune_50

     @BearGogglesOn why not trade forte and the 1st round pick for a top 5 selection and take your pick whether it be blackmon or richardson. I realize that giving up the bears pick and forte may be a little to much to give. But with more wrinkles involved in that trade may be the way to work it. What’s not to like?

  • TomTolbert

    I dont think they should trade him, just let him settle down and stop crying and everything will be alright. I think they have a shot to go far this year maybe even to the superbowl. Ive written why in my blog as well as a nice bet u can make now on the bears http://halftimechat.com/2012/03/sports-gambling-tip-for-nfc-2012-dark-horse-team/

  • Mr.Pickles

    Totally disagree with ya here Boom. Many of the points I wanted to make have already been made in the 42 (42?!?! Is that a record?) previous comments but the one thing I don’t think I saw is that getting franchised now might limit the money Forte can make over his entire career. If the Bears slap the tag on him again next year and he then enters the following year as an unrestricted free agent he will be 28 with tons of mileage. This could be his one chance to get his big payday. He exponentially exceeded the expectations of is rookie deal and did the respectable thing last year by misplacing his faith in Jerry. I NEVER have sympathy for whiny athletes (I despise Eli Manning to this day solely for the fact he pouted his way out of San Diego) but I actually think Forte’s anger is valid, and he has been disrespected. I think we should all really be angry at teams like the Panthers and Titans for handing out ridiculous money to running backs.

  • http://www.beardownone.blogspot.com/ Beardownone

    @Obnxs1 @BearGogglesOn @vrquinton I think the real problem is two parts part A) being that Forté over values himself and B) the Bears may be under valuing him. To your point he lost zero money last year the bears made him an offer that he refused. Now while I think Forté has done a nice job I don’t think he deserves top five RB pay. He does and that is the problem. Like I said earlier they will get a deal done neither side will be 100% happy with and all will be forgot. Its like they say there are three sides to every story yours, theirs and the truth. They will find that middle

  • http://www.beardownone.blogspot.com/ Beardownone

    @teejaysplace @deepsix @RobSchwarzJr The thing with what your saying is that Forté only has those numbers from lack of options. Do you really think he will get as many touches in the passing game now that the Bears have a ligitiment #1 receiver? No way. With Marshall on the team we will see more catches from Earl Bennitt and if he is back Johnny Know. Forté will still see some but not nearly as much. That being said it should make his life running the ball a lot more productive not to say he was not but it will be easier. I do think your nuts if you pick him over several other much better backs though.

  • flowermike

    That’s cool JRock and if you’re right, lift the tag and let him try the free market. His value is then allowed to play out organically. 
     
    The bears tipped their hand by designating him with the tag. THEY value him, just not long term. 
     
    But the interesting aspect is the frugal aspect. They could have locked him up for nickels if they had done so early. They allowed the situation to get into last year and he doesn’t trust them. Not hard to imagine. 
     
    In the mean time, they’ve thrown ridiculous money at Chester, Marion and now Bush. Ridiculous money considering their production. Why aren’t you clamoring for better spending at another position considering we didn’t get ANY value out of these signings? They gave a blocking tight end big $ and Jay ran for his life. They gave away a receiving tight end for nothing and had no one to throw to.
     
    Why would a supposed back up like Bush deserve millions in guarantee money and not your home grown starter?
     
    Hypocrisy. But as long as the city supports the Mc Caskeys despite their intentional failings, the situation won’t change and eventually, the Bears will be known as the Cubs. Loveable losers playing to packed stadiums of morons wearing new “retro” jerseys that never were worn. 
     
    I”m a big Knox fan and I don’t think he’s coming back. 
     
    Love of the game…. you’re too funny Jrock. 
     
    No reason this site doesn’t elicit 100′s of comments.