Matt Forte is a good running back. I’d go so far as to say he’s a really good running back. I might lend myself to hyperbole and say he’s having one of the greatest seasons an offensive player has ever had for the Chicago Bears.
He’s on track to have the second most yards from scrimmage in NFL history. Not Bears history. NFL history.
That’s saying something.
He accounts for something ridiculous like 50% of the entire Bears offense. He’s averaging 5.4 yards per attempt.
Think about that, and then think about the weakest link on the Chicago Bears?
He’s having a stellar season behind one of the worst, patchwork, excuses for a professional offensive line in the game.
That, again, is saying something.
And with all that being said, I will say something;
DO NOT PAY HIM.
Okay, not literally. What I should say is don’t OVERPAY for him.
He turned down $15 million guaranteed at the start of the season. If he turns that down at the end of the season, let him walk. You could always slap the franchise tag on him and pay him $8 million next year and take the full $8 million hit against the cap—and you might have to do that. However, I would caution against it.
If the history of NFL free agents and huge contracts has taught us anything, it’s that you pay for quarterbacks and cornerbacks. You pay for offense lineman and you pay for superstar defensive talent.
Remember that Champ Bailey trade for Clinton Portis?
How about Larry Johnson’s hold out and subsequent pay day? How’d that work out? Or more recently, Chris Johnson’s big pay day this year? How’s he doing so far? Don’t know? He’s averaging 2.9 yards per attempt on 286 total rushing yards.
The Bears might be a lot of things, but they aren’t cheap. They pay for players.
They gave Brian Urlacher an extra $5 million when the market and Urlacher deemed it necessary. They franchised Lance Briggs for $7 million and then signed him to a multi-year deal. They paid $90 million to Julius Peppers. They threw bad money at Brandon Manumaleuna and Chester Taylor.
Here’s to hoping the Bears don’t throw bad money at Matt Forte. The Bears offered him $15 million guaranteed. If he still doesn’t want that, let someone else foolishly pay him more.