Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

Why Matt Forte Will Stay in Chicago


This guest post was made by the SeatCrunch team.

There has been a lot of talk surrounding Matt Forte and his future with the Chicago Bears. Since he has yet to have been offered the long term contract he desires, he is not expected to show up to any of the Bear’s OTAs. There are some who think he may even miss the entire pre-season. Despite all of this, when Chicago suits up for their first game of the season, you can be sure that Forte will be right there with them. Here’s why.

According to the new collective bargaining agreement, running backs will make about $7.7 million per year. Forte’s rookie contract paid him $3.78 million over four seasons. That’s less than half of what he would make should he decide to accept the franchise tag tender. Forte would be making a clear mistake to pass up a deal like that.

In addition, the longer he waits, the more credibility he gives to the Bears’ other running back, Michael Bush. Bush ran for nearly 1,400 yards last season, so the Bears have no problem trusting him to carry the ball. Forte will sign for the money and for the safety of his starting position. At the end of the day, the sooner he does it, the better it is for everyone involved.

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  • Pete Wilberscheid

    Matt Forte should sit out the first 10 games and return for the remaining 6 games, earning approximately  $2.89 million dollars – still a significant raise for only a fraction of the season.
     
    1) The first question would be – if Forte did sit out the first 10 games (as allowed by CBA) would Bears still franchise him (at 20% increase or $9.24 million) the following season?  That’s money the Bears can’t use for any other player or FA acquisition should they franchise Forte again.
     
    2) Who else on the Bears’ current roster is a likely candidate to be franchised next year?  Using the franchise tag on Forte again next year could prevent the Bears from using it on a player they deem more important long-term.
     
    3) Forte wants what each of us deserve, a chance to determine true fair market value via unrestricted free agency.  Staying with the Bears results in Forte never achieving this until his skills have deteriorated.  When is the last time that a top 10 RB has been available on the FA market and what did he earn?
     
    4) It was tacky, but typical, for the Bears to release unsubstantiated information about the health of Forte’s knees in an attempt to damage his perceived value to others in the league.  Playing only the last six games of the season should put the Bears’ worries at ease, as well as keep him fresher for the remainder of his career.