Ray Rice vs. Matt Forte: Who Will Be Better Bang for the Buck in 2012?

Josh ZerkleChief Writer IIIJuly 16, 2012

Two big running backs re-signed with their respective teams today, one of which happened mere minutes before the league-imposed 4:00 p.m. free-agent-signing deadline.

Matt Forte's nightmare finally ended earlier this afternoon, when he and the Chicago Bears agreed to a four-year, $32 million contract. According to the AP, more than half of that, $17 million, is guaranteed. 

Ray Rice, arguably the league's best running back, came to terms with the Baltimore Ravens in the 11th hour of negotiations. Rice's five-year, $40-million deal is front-loaded. The Rutgers product reportedly will receive $17 million in 2012 and a combined $25 million in 2013 and 2014.

Had Rice and the Ravens not reached a deal before 4 p.m. ET, Rice would have been unable to continue negotiating a long-term deal before the end of 2012 season. His only recourse for playing this year would have been to do so under the franchise tag and the one-year guarantee of $7.7 million.

Which player scored the better deal? And which player will be more integral to his team's success in 2012?

Senior NFL draft lead writer Matt Miller and I make our cases for who had the better deal in our latest debate. Enjoy our takes on the matter in the video above and leave us your thoughts in the comments. Fortunately for all of us, your feedback isn't subject to deadline, so take your time.