Earlier in the year, the Bears offered a contract worth about 6 million dollars per year with a guarantee of almost 14 million dollars. After looking at the contracts of similar RBs, this offer is quite a bit short.
Matt Forte’s career stats:
First glance at the stats might have you skeptical, but it shows that the Bears are saving Forte for the long haul. They give him a slightly smaller load for an extended career and so that he doesn’t wear down at the end of the season. Not to mention he also gets about 50 extra touches per year through the passing game anyway.
Forte is 26, entering his prime, and has a style of play that warrants a generally longer career. He has some power and he doesn’t have to rely on his speed alone to gain yardage. Throw in his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and that makes him a 3 dimensional threat.
Now I bet you’re wondering what kind of contract does that get him. Let’s take a look at some other RBs current contracts for that.
His play is probably most comparable to Jones-Drew or Darren McFadden, but he isn’t going to get McFadden money. Jones-Drew is probably the best comparison, but Jones-Drew is underpaid right now while being a better pure talent than Forte.
I rank Forte behind Peterson, not necessarily McFadden (Forte won’t get that kind of money) and Johnson. He has a brighter future than Jackson and Charles and Jones-Drew are working under early contracts. He’s obviously better than Williams, but he was overpaid during free agency and he probably isn’t going to get that kind of money even if he goes to free agency. He and the Bears both know that. However, his contract will likely be similar.
Expect Forte to rake in about 6 years with about 25 million guaranteed and about 50 million total.That equates to about 8.3 per year.
Some may be concerned after he was injured to end the year, but he hasn’t really had an injury history and like I said before, is entering his prime. I would expect about four years of prime left and a couple solid years after that.
I’m not sure whether he’ll be in a Bears uniform next year, but either way, he’s going to get his money.