Chicago Bears: Memo to Jerry Angelo, Please Pay Matt Forte

Ronnie HampstonCorrespondent IOctober 26, 2011

NASHVILLE, TN - AUGUST 27:  Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during a preseason game at LP Field on August 27, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

With 124 rushing attempts for 672 yards and 38 receptions for 419 yards (no fumbles), Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte is on pace to put up his best season as a pro.

This is what typically happens when a player is in a contract year. This off-season there contained rampant speculation when in regards to high-profile running backs, and potential moves away from their current teams.

Chris Johnson, Frank Gore, and Forte each made headlines due to well-chronicled contract disputes. Both Johnson and Gore received a nice new payday, but Forte was exempt.

The Bears back is making $600,000 this season—the bottom of the barrel for a Pro-Bowl caliber running back.

Forte is doing all he can do to garner a big pay day this offseason. Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo is playing the waiting game, but the longer he waits to offer a contract, the asking price for Forte only increases.

As Forte piles up the yards and touchdowns his market value continues to skyrocket. Forte is the leading rusher and receiver for the Chicago Bears. The life expectancy for NFL running back is about as short as Darren Sproles (height-wise, not heart-wise), but when your best player is a running back, he deserves to get paid, particularly in view of recent contracts that have been doled out to elite backs in recent years.

I am certain that there are several teams that will pay Forte what he wants if he continues to tear defenses apart.  While it is mind-boggling to see Forte ball out week-in, week-out only to see no rewarding contract, you have to respect his tenacity and professionalism.

It is obvious that Forte is not playing for the money.

If he had diva-like tendencies a la Terrell Owens, he would have held out after the lockout was lifted. There isn't much to say about Forte other than to pay the man. 

Athletes always get a bad rap about being money-hungry grovelers, but in this case Forte more than deserves an upshoot in his contract..