In a statement that is sure to bolster the confidence of Chicago Bears fans, head coach Lovie Smith recently said:
"We love him, he's going to rush for a lot of yards for us, it's going to work out fine."
This comes after Forte's unfortunate Twitter outburst in which he ranted:
"There's only so many times a man that has done everything he's been asked to do can be disrespected!" read a post on Forte's Twitter account early Thursday afternoon. "Guess the GOOD GUYS do finish last ..."
So, does Lovie Smith know something he's not telling us? Has a deal been done? Or is this just a move to put pressure on Forte, or convince the rest of the team and the fans that everything is going to work out just fine?
Many saw this move as nothing more than disrespecting Matt Forte. The entire Bears offense was carried by Forte for large parts of last season. He has shown he is a versatile running back, capable of gaining yards on the ground or through the air. And despite an injury forcing him to sit out the last few games, he was still voted to the Pro Bowl.
And all Forte has ever wanted is a new contract. A deal that he feels gives him what he deserves. He has firmly placed himself as one of the best running backs in the league, and can see other players of his caliber getting paid a lot more than him.
To an extent, I can see his frustration. There is no doubt that the RB position does not offer the greatest longevity compared to an offensive lineman, for example.
An example of this was the recent retirement of Marion Barber, who played for the Bears last season. He decided to hang up his boots and the grand old age of 28. This is only two years older than Forte. Running backs like to make a lot of money, and quickly.
But let us not forget that the Bears have used the franchise tag on Forte. This will pay him $7 million for the year, which is pretty decent money the last time I checked.
But I am sure that the Bears' No. 1 running back would like something a bit more long-term. Something a bit bigger than his rookie contract. And who can blame him? He's an excellent football player who features heavily in the Bears offense, and the team would be much worse off without him.
Whether Bush finds himself catapulted into a position other than number two running back on the roster remains to be seen. Is Forte considering holding out? Missing out on a lot more money than he previously made, just to make a point?
I doubt it. I think we see Forte suiting up for Week 1, and he plays with the same passion and determination that he has done his entire career.
Oh, and don't forget to trust Smith. He said it's going to work out fine, remember?
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