The Oakland Raiders had a very good backup option at running back with Michael Bush, but they couldn’t re-sign the back as he looked to become a starter elsewhere.
Still, in a somewhat shocking move, the Bears signed Bush to become the backup in the Windy City, and Forte isn’t happy about it, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Despite clamoring for a contract extension last season, Forte and the Bears were unable to reach a long-term deal. Now the Bears have slapped the franchise tag on Forte, making him one of the highest-paid running backs in football, but without the security of an extended contract.
Forte had hinted after the end of the season that if he was given the tag, there was a chance he could hold out in camp. With the recent signing of a very capable backup, some speculate the Bears may be opting to move on from the Forte-led Bears offense.
Or, the signing of Bush could just be a tool for leverage in their talks with Forte. We won’t know until a deal is or isn’t made.
Still, if Forte does elect to hold out, what will it mean for his 2012 predictions?
Last season Titans RB Chris Johnson went in to a very public holdout until the team extended his contract and, once he signed and rejoined the team, he had one of his worst seasons as a pro.
There were other variables involved in the Chris Johnson drop off, however, like a shortened offseason and the fact that the Titans offensive line was mediocre-at-best last year.
Forte will have his own share of troubles too.
The Bears offense will have a new look to it now that Mike Tice is the offensive play-caller, and the recent trade for Brandon Marshall, paired with Tice’s affinity for high-flying offenses, could mean a lack of production for Forte.
Tice even said he will try and use the no-huddle much more than the Bears did with Mike Martz as the offensive coordinator. How will Forte fair with that if there is a holdout?
Forte’s fantasy value will take a serious shot in 2012.
Michael Bush would not have signed with the Chicago Bears, and for less than what he felt he deserved, if the Bears did not promise him a decent chunk of rushing attempts.
It is likely that there will be a 50-50 split of carries, or at least close to it, between the two running backs. Forte will certainly see his ADP drop from the first round to closer to the third round in 2012 fantasy football drafts.
All of this begs the question as to whether the Bears will try and trade their disgruntled running back. With the signing of Bush, the Tice offense and Brandon Marshall together somewhat signal a new offense in the works.
But, it isn’t inconceivable that the Bears could move on from Forte. A running back of Forte’s caliber would likely garner a high draft pick. We already speculated that the Bears could be looking at a big draft day trade anyway. Perhaps Forte will be part of that deal.
Nick Sero is a writer for TheSportsCannon.com, an NFL News and Fantasy Football advice website offering the latest rumors, news and FREE fantasy advice. You can follow Nick and TSC on Facebook and Twitter.