Chicago Sun-Times

Jerry Angelo intends to give Matt Forte an extension

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From Mark Potash:

Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said he intends to give running back Matt Forte a contract extension, but hinted it might not be done as easily as Forte would like it to be.

''I told [his agent, Adisa Bakari] ... our intent is to do that,'' Angelo said Sunday. ''That's a strong word. When I say intent, then we're motivated to do something. The timetable is yet to be determined. Just be patient. Take care of your job as you already have and continue to do and we're going to do our part.

''But again, it's a negotiation. You've got to find that common ground. That part of it will be a challenge. You're not talking about [an unrestricted free agent], where there's an open market [and] you bid. These extensions are much tougher, because agents normally look at the UFA market to set their counts. But he's not a UFA.

''And that's the challenge. We've got a pretty good track record. Cliff [team negotiator Cliff Stein] is the best. I trust him. Adisa Bakari ... we've dealt with him. He's a very good agent. So I feel optimistic. But again, we'll just let that play itself out.''

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Forte threatening to hold out on training camp is almost the same as if he did!

Kreutz and Greg Olsen whined like babies and wanted to get paid. And Forte is doing the same thing.

Kerry Wood of the Chicago Cubs could have gotten $4 million a year and took $1.5 - 2 million less just to be a Cub. A 50% cut in pay because he loved the Cubs that much! Is Kreutz going to take $1.5- $2 million a year just to be a Bear?

Kreutz turned down $4 million! A 33% pay raise for a player with injuries and declining skills!

All these players claim they love the Bears so much; until it's time to get paid.

In truth, Forte is average statistically and has big numbers because the Bears ran up to 35% of their offense through him in recent years. Which is too much to put on one player and makes an unbalanced offense. What happens if he gets hurt? Then what?

The Bears have other RB's who can do the job. They wasted Chester Taylor's talent last year.

Because of all the HYPE about Matt Forte, the Bears need to trade him for draft picks to help rebuild the team while they can. They must sell HIGH and get the most while they can. It may already be too late. They should have done this much earlier.

But if they can dump this guy now and get a treasure trove of picks; do it!

Why overpay an average RB who thinks he's better than he is and threatens to hold out if he doesn't get overpaid?

If he really were that good, wouldn't he be resisting to sign an extension and instead hold out for free agency (he's in the final year of his contract) and a BIG payday with numerous teams bidding?

If he was that good wouldn't the Bears be begging him to sign an extension; instead of him talking about holding out?


I say pay Matt Forte, he's the first decent back they've drafted since Neal Anderson. As a rookie Forte was the first Bear rookie to rush for at least a 1000 yards and catch 62 passes. Matt Forte's 89 yard td reception vs the Lions last season in week one was the longest play from scrimmage by a back in Bears history, and with the great backs Chicago has had, thats saying something! Also, Forte became the first Bear player to have a 150 yard rushing and receiving effort during his career. And, last season Forte joined the great Walter Payton as the only backs in Bear history to have a 1000 yards rushing and 500 yards receiving during a season. Forte really came on over the final 8 games last season rushing the football, in 5 of the final 8 games Forte put up 90 or more yards rushing, he went over a 100 twice. If Forte can carry this into this season, he'll be among the leagues elite. Angelo needs to do the right thing and pay Forte GO BEARS!!

I think it's a tricky deal. First, he's a running back. The league doesn't generally reward them with long-term deals. Second, he's got a year left on his deal. Team doesn't want to give him a premium deal now when, technically, they don't have to. Third, where exactly do you rank Matt Forte among the best running backs? It's hard to say, because I think he's played behind a suspect offensive line. But, someone like DeAngelo Williams, who has played behind a better one, has better numbers, overall, especially touchdowns.

Will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Are you kidding me? Forte is the most important skilled position player in offense, In 3 years he has run for over a 1000 yards and is the best receiver the Bears have not to mention his blocking. Plus if he was in a offense that featured his skills more and not force the pass I'm sure he would average over 1250 yards per year. Its obvious you don't see the trend of the front office, they don't beg for any players to sign. Since the the mid 80's the Bears have consistently let quality players leave not wanting to pay up. He was also responsible for up to 40% of the offense leading the team in rushing and receptions last year and he wasn't even featured. Wake up and smell the coffee, this front office is so inept, if Walter Payton was playing now they wouldn't pay him either.

LOL! Are you serious, Angelo "ITENDS" to give Forte an extension is like saying, Obama intends to balance the budget and stop spending money he doesn't have. They're both a joke, trying to convince people what they say are true intentions. The fans aren't that stupid and neither is Forte. Anyone can look at history and see they say one thing yet do the opposite.

Angelo will give Matt a decent contract. I agree with Kevin. Forte has been pretty solid as a balanced skill threat, running for 1k behind that terrible offensive line.

Chester Taylor stuggled behind that line last year. I think the Bears should absolutely pay Forte and do whatever they can to improve the line.

After the Kreutz debacle, which both sides bungled, I think the Bears front office pays Forte. They've been getting him at a great discount and they're way under the cap.


It will be hard to figure out the right number. We'll see.

The only guarantee here is that the Bears will negotiate a new deal for Forte. It doesn't mean both sides will agree. There's a bigger gap between the Bears saying ‘‘Our intent is to give him an extension’’ and Forte saying, "They've assured us the deal will be done." than it appears. It's highly doubtful the Bears will meet Forte's price without seeing more -- like 6-8 more games in the second year of Martz's offense. A lot can happen between now and then. And I don't think the Kreutz situation will have any impact on this one. The Bears threw $13 million out the window on Chester Taylor and Brandon Manumaleuna last year, then ditched Kreutz over $500K. They just don't think like we do. Never have.

Good points, but while Angelo and the mangement team have been notoriously cheap in some cases, they've also shown a track record of re-signing drafted players who've proven less than Forte.

Tommie Harris for one.

I also think the 500k gap issue is as much on Kreutz as it is on the Bears. There are/were centers around the league who play at the same level and make less. People keep asking: "Why couldn't the Bears get the deal done if the gap was only 500k?"

Another question worth asking: "Why wouldn't Olin sign if the gap was only 500k?"

There were two parties in that negotiation.

It is worth considering that Kreutz's deal fell through, in part, because the front office wants to throw some money at Mr. Forte ... which could be tricky if they're "overpaying" for Kruetz.

I think the Bears sign Matt by the end of the week. Martz likes him and he fits the offense well.

Looking at the numbers, it seems you'll get just about the same amount of production that Forte would give you from Chester Taylor if you played him full time instead of Forte.

Taylor signed a 4 year deal at $12.5 million, so you still have him for 3 more years at $3.1 million averaged out ( he already got paid most up front ). Use him!

And with Mike Martz reshaping the offense more to his liking by dumping TE's, Matt Forte's roll may actually diminish. You don't really want or expect Forte to be 40% of your offense do you? But he'll want to get paid like he is.

This is where friction may come in. You will need to reduce Forte's work load and spread it around to the other RB's and WR's, but he's going to want to be paid a full time wage for a part time job.

It seems by the numbers that Forte may get the same deal as Ahmad Bradshaw of the NY Giants if he were a free agent today. $18 million for 4 years, $9 million guaranteed. Which is $4.5 million a year avg.

Forte may think he's worth DeAngelo Williams money--$43 million for 5 years; $8.6 million a year average. There's a big difference between $8.6 mil and $4.5 mil.

I'd trade Forte for high picks from a bad team. Save that $4.5 million and put it to work on upgrading some other position of need, O-line if possible.

Maybe trade Forte for another player that wants out from their team and a new extension. Logan Mankins??? Who knows. Be creative. Get Randy Moss out of
retirement with that extra cash.

This may be a rare opportunity to sell HIGH. And it will send a message to the Bears players to think twice before they start making threats to hold out in the future.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on July 31, 2011 11:39 PM.

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