Chicago Sun-Times

Could this be Matt Forte's last season as a Bear?

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In a column I wrote in Thursday's paper, I quoted Matt Forte's agent on the status of contract negotiations with the Bears, and I explained why this could be headed toward an ugly offseason.

(You can view the column by clicking here)

It could end up like the Greg Olsen situation, with the club unable -- or unwilling -- to give the player a new contract and electing to trade him, so they don't walk away empty-handed.

Here, though, are some of Forte's comments today.

"I'm not out here playing just for the heck of it," Forte said. "I play because I love the sport and also because I want my teammates to respect me and the work ethic that I put into the game.

"I just hope to turn some heads around here. Obviously, the guys upstairs think of me in a certain way. Hopefully, I turn their heads around about that."

Asked if his situation could turn out better because of the season he's having, Forte said, "Yeah, I think so, if I just continue to do that.

"If the Bears don't value me, hopefully another team will."

So what's the difference between he and the club?

"Basically, what I was saying was I figured with the contract situation that you look at guys' productivity and you look at the guys that he's matched to," Forte said. "And if you like at mine and the elite status of other backs that are around the same amount of production, what I'm saying is, they must not think that I'm elite because they don't want to pay me on that same level as some of the other guys."

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If Forte is not re-signed, then this would be a new level of stupid, even for the Bears.

Forte is the offense, and he has been ever since he was drafted. He won't fumble, he'll catch everything that comes his way and when it comes to running the ball watch out because once he breaks into the secondary it's usually a homerun.

And even while playing behind crappy offensive lines with limited playmakers, Forte still shines bright.

I think that just by the amount of touches he's gotten since '08, he should get a lucrative contract. He's put his body on the line more than any other player in the League, I think.

Besides, no one else on this offense aside from Cutler and Bennett, and maybe Knox, deserve to get paid anyhow.

Heres the bottom line with Matt Forte, with Matt Forte, the Bears are 2-2, without Forte in the lineup, they'd be 0-4. Matt Forte is basically the only weapon Chicago has right now on offense. The guy comes out every sunday and plays. No, Forte doesn't put up 100 yards rushing every sunday, but is that really his fault? No. Week one vs the Falcons, Forte only had 68 yards rushing, but what a lot of fans aren't looking at is he had a 4.2 yard average. Forte only got to carry the ball 16 times in that game, theres only so much you can do with 16 carries. You can't realistically expect Forte to break a big run on every carry? Had Forte carried the ball at least 4 more times, I bet he carcks 90 yards if not 100. Same with week 2 vs the Saints, Forte only had 49 yards on the ground, but only got 10 carries, and yes boys and girls, thats a 4.9 yard average. Again, with more carries he'd probably get more yards. The bottom line, you can't expect a guy to put up big rushing totals with 9-16 carries a game, which is all Forte got over the first 3 games. And don't come at me with, oh, but one of them carries was for x amount of yards, thats why his average was big! Give me a break, thats the same with every other back in the NFL, the bottom line hear is this, the more times you get to carry the ball, the more productive you're gonna be as a runner.

Now, in week 4 vs the Panthers, Forte got to carry the rock 25 times, and what happens, 205 yards rushing, oh yeah, he had an 8.2 yards average. Thats 200 yards rushing, again for emphasis, 200 yards rushing! I don't care who you play or what defense you rush against, its not every day a back puts up 200 yards rushing. So lets break it all down, without a lot of carries through the first 3 weeks, what does Forte do, he becomes one of the league leaders in receptions, because thats what the Bears were asking him to do. And in week 4, when Forte finally gets his chance to carry the rock 20 or more times, like all the other leading rushers in the NFL do, what happens? Forte puts up 200 yards rushing and is now 7th in the league in rushing! 7th!! The bottom line here, Forte is becoming one of the leagues best backs, Angelo needs to pay Forte. If you think the offense is bad now, without GO BEARS!!

ahhhh...forte is a BUST! mraybe te h BIGGEST BUST i iahve ever seehn!! an gelo thqat looser was supposed to draftBIG M REASHARDTY MENDENHALL!!! ohh taht mendehall a fine peace of yum yum mhe is !!! ohhh baby....i wuv me som big M! ;)

you say fotre is good kebin BUMstead??? hahahahahahaaahhh.....donut make me laugh forte is a LOOSER BUST! wow tyou are so stoopid somtimes kevin....rooting for the team you like todo good?? haha waht a weirdo!

ohh ans mike....wah t a disapointemnt...i thoguht you werfe as awsome as thought we wre one! you ans i werr like sister sister but no moree!!! ohh well i geuss i will just have to SMACK you arond leikt i do to that BRANDO (ohhh i HATE taht happy go clucky beanod!!!) and taht looser kevin BUMstead!!!

BUT YO HUYS NOW ,E OLD cerap-ton jsut tyruyin to be poastive,,,,

ps i ssaid DONUT DISTURB ME wehn im cleaning my room mommy!!! is just me ans the vacum cleaner in he aso donut worry!@!

Kevin and Mike I still would have preferred the bears select CJ( Chris Johnson). Yes forte is the better RECEIVER,
forte- Johnson
4.1 ypc 4.9 ypc
19 td 34 td
3,560yds 4,797 yds
68.5 ypg 94.1 ypg
871 carries 994 carries
forte over 1200 yards once, Johnson over 1,200 yards all 3 years. Plus in his 2nd year he rushed for 2,006 yards. Of course ja screwed up because we could of had him, but no we got stuck with chris williams.

They can always tag him, and yes the price seems to go up the longer they wait to pay. But I get that too, the season is moving along, and why pay him if he is working and under contract? Well mostly because they said they would pay him in a hand shake agreement, which tells you what Angelo's hand is worth.

But their are reasons not too right now. First why buy the cow when the milk is only 500,000, second what if he gets hurt? Third lets see how he finishes the season.

On average how has he done against the top competition? I hope you don't mind I use PFF for most of my rankings, not, or ESPN. I use the Aikman rankings sometimes as well.

So where does the comeptition stack up against Forte.

Atlanta, 27th ranked defense, Run defense ranked 17th, Forte 4.3 Average 0 TD's I can't do anything about attempts. But a solid Average.

Saints, 31st ranked defense 26th ranked run defense. Forte 4.9 yards 0TD's. So we see his average increase againt a weaker run defense, perfect, that's what it should do. A very good average.

Green Gay, I mean Bay ooops. 25th ranked defense, Run defense 10th. Forte 0.2 average, 0 td's. Run defense got better, he got shut down quick.

Carolina, 22nd ranked defense, run defense ranked 30th. Forte Ave. 8.2, 1 TD. Great average.

I don't really care about the recieving yards at this point, mostly because teams have been giving them the checkdown and taking away the passing game. Basically when it comes to rushing he is very consistant, the better the defense the worse he gets, the weaker the run defense, the better he gets. Which is pretty standard.

I think the thing to watch is how he does against better competition, right now the Bears offense have faced very weak competition in terms of defense. I think we need to see a bigger picture of Forte and the offense against better competition.

I think the Vikings will be a good test of his rushing ability along with, the Raiders and maybe the Bronco's, Fox likes gowing after the run.

This also should lead most peope to one thought. The NFL says it is a passing league, it is telling teams they are passing teams and your going to pass. And stupid teams have gone with it. But with most NFL defenses being designed to stop the pass, use speed and get after the QB, I am thinking a power run teams should be tearing things up, against these small defenses. Don't get me wrong you still need a QB and a good passing game, but I would much rather have a duel threat team, than a one demensional team any day of the week. How are teams like the Bills, Raiders, Bangles, winning without these top end QB's? They can run. You want to know the problem with Carolina? They got a nice little offense, but they want to pass, pass, pass, but they built to run and the first time they tried it was against the Bears. What happened their offense tore are defense up, to bad for them they quit running in the 4th. But they are perfect example of what teams think they are suppose to do, because the league tells them to. The Bears are in the same boat, they brought in a pass happy nut, and the damn team is built to run. Even the QB can but they don't want to do that, they don't even want to role him out.

Some good observations there,Creighton.The Bears cannot seem to reach a happy medium and tend to go all-out passing or all-out running. What you say about Forte can also be said about the offensive line. Against weaker defenses they do well and against better defenses they do not, and as you said, that's what they would be expected do. That of course directly affects Forte's performance. I think his value can be related to how he does even when the line does not do its job.I think you hit the target dead center regarding Carolina.If they balanced their attack, they could be a major contender. As it is, I expect them to upset or even kill some future opponents, possibly starting this week.

This O-Line is really tough to guage, a really good O-Line will dominate most of the time, so I know it's not a really good O-Line. But it's hard to get a read on the unit, the Bears do so much blocking with 7-8 men that it's hard to tell who can play because they do so much double teaming. With all the TE use the Tackles are down blocking and the TE's are getting killed, so the TE's get blamed for a lot of stuff they have no buisness doing.

I don't think they can play a 5-6 man line very long without getting killed. So far the biggest problem on the line has probably been Garza, he get's no puch in the run game, and is struggling as a pass blocker. But again part of the problem with him is he is constantly trying to help someone. On the flip side Spencer has been there besst player, he is ok in pass blocking, nothing special but has been very solid in run blocking. It's Hard to grade Webb because he never blocks alone, Chris Williams has a lot of help as well, but I am pretty sure he sucks. He can't anchor, he is to tall for a guard and his lower body is to thin. Omiyale is a walking disaster, Carimi showed promis. All in all I would say they are not the worst line football, but again it's hard to tell because of the 7-8 man protection. One thin I do know is last game, on 18 drops by Cutler the Panthers got 10 QB disruptions, that's really, really bad. PFF did not list a single one on Cutler either. They all did pretty good in run blocking though. On the week only Louis and Garza had negative grades.

The offense as a whole grades out as bad, but not as bad asa last year, the biggest week ling right now is Hester who is listed as the worst reciever in the nfl by PFF.

Forte is listed as the number 2 back, he's Forced 8 missed tackles on the year, which is good for 11th, yards after contact 163 good for 13th, yards after contact per attempt he ranks 23rd with 2.7, his average is good for 8th place, his blocking has fallen off a lot from last year and he is tied for 35th, but is listed as the number 1 recieving back in the nfl. Fred Jackson is currently listed as number 1.

I just want to say [I know no one cares but still] what's the other option to the Bears?

Think of the phrase, "don't go grocery shopping on an empty stomach." If there was another option at running back on the off, i'd be more okay with them playing harball. They tried... Chester Taylor was a bust. Marion Barber really does get injured a lot. The bears are in a bad negotiation position now, it's going to be worse if they don't have any other option. If you loose Matt Forte, you loose the best offensive weapon we have. The 3 best players on offense, so far, appear to be Cutler, Forte and Earl Bennett. [Maybe Carimi, maybe Clutz]. That's not good in and of itself, but loosing them without improving the position is worse.

Also, if we loose Forte, we're loosing Jay Cutler. There's no way he's staying on an offense where the best players are leaving.

It's one of the main reasons Olin Cruz was so disheartening. Yes, he's past his prime and the Bears have to move on, but we had to make sure we were good enough without him. We're not. Loosing Greg Olsen isn't bad if Kellen Davis is better.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on October 6, 2011 4:36 PM.

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