Unfortunately, he is not given the respect he deserves.
Matt Forte's worst season was his second year where he still had 1,400 total yards (but only four touchdowns) and caught 57 passes. If that is the worst season of a running back's career I will take that.
Forte is coming off another great season, which is standard for him now. In 2010 he had over 1,600 total yards—at 4.5 years a carry—nine touchdowns and 51 receptions
Still, with all his success in the NFL, the Chicago media continues to fail to recognize Matt Forte as an elite running back.
The sad part is the Bears management appears to be tag teaming with the Chicago media and does not give Forte his due respect. They are almost apathetic when they speak of him, though they should be ecstatic with his production.
Forte was considering a hold out because as he will only be making $555,000 in 2011—which should be a crime for his talent. Ultimately, the Bears refused to give him a contract extension, but Forte showed up to camp anyways—because that is the kind of player he is.
Forte went to training camp because Jerry Angelo put him at ease. Forte said, "[Angelo] had been in talks with my agent since the end of the lockout and even before that, and he kind of said that a deal would get done. Where I'm from and how I was raised, when somebody gives you their word that goes a long way".
I sure hope Angelo lives up to his word because Forte will be an unrestricted free agent next season and the Chicago Bears cannot afford to lose such a young talented linchpin in their offense. Forte freezes the defense on play-actions and his production has taken pressure off quarterback Jay Cutler. Further, he also gives Cutler a strong receiving option out of the backfield.
Forte has reeled in 171 passes for 1,495 yards in his short tenure in Chicago.Pass catching is one of Forte's strengths and last season Forte was fourth among running backs in receiving yards.
When the Chicago Bears do ultimately give Forte the extension, he clearly deserves a deal similar to that of the Carolina Panthers' DeAngelo Williams, who signed a five-year deal for $43 million this offseason.
Forte is a talent the Bears have not seen at a skill position in a very long time, and if they are not careful, he could be out the door next season.
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