As if the 2011 season for the Chicago Bears hasn't had enough questions left unanswered, one proposition stands out among others in the division of "urgent."
Current feature-back for the Monsters of the Midway, Matt Forte, is unhappy with his current contract, respectively. The 218 pound Tulane graduate is set to make $555,000 this year. Based on his performance, Forte should undoubtedly make more moola.
It's been rumored that Bears' GM, the infamous Jerry Angelo, offered Forte a four-year contract worth $15 million. No word has been solidified in terms of the fourth-year back's reaction to this offer.
However, Bears' receiver Roy Williams said it perfectly: Matt Forte is the MVP of the Chicago Bears at this point.
The 25-year-old has been for the past four years.
Bursting onto the gridiron scene in 2008, Forte gathered 1,238 yards on 316 carries. Added onto that was 477 yards receiving as the rookie steadied an inconsistent offense.
Following his rookie sensation of a year, Forte played the entire 2009 season with a sprained knee. Still, Forte contributed mightily in the receiving game and improved as the year went on and his injury healed. The third year was a replication of 2008 as Forte's rushing totals improved.
For those in doubt of my recognition of a workhorse back, get this: Matt Forte trails only Wes Welker for the No, 1 spot of most yards from scrimmage, by one yard.
With no disrespect to Welker, the Patriots have plenty of other options and terrific talent to go with an impeccable scheme. Who do the Bears have to distract defensive players?
While it's a positive aspect for most, one can close the gap on shedding light. The 6'2" Forte has been rode from day one, racking up 5,365 yards overall from 2008.
Tailbacks will, inevitably, take much abuse over their career. However, Forte has had no secondary option in his years in Chicago; nobody to provide a breather nor take pressure off. The aforementioned Jerry Angelo has tried, though, with a bust in Kevin Jones.
Hopefully, Marion Barber will stay healthy and pack a one-two punch for Chicago's rushing game. But the point is, Matt Forte embodies Chicago Bears football.
Forte's hard-running, never run out-of-bounds mentality and willingness to improve will always have a special place in my heart. You never see Forte talk after busting a big run, or show signs of disappointment in his teammates. A simple walk back to the huddle with his head high is all that's needed in Forte's style.
Matt Forte is the ultimate Chicago Bear on the offensive side of the ball. Please, Jerry Angelo, don't let the best offensive weapon Chicago has had in years walk away due to your currency ineptitude.
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